Tid: Onsdag 13 maj 2015, kl. 15:00–17:00
Plats: C389, Södra huset, Frescati

Postseminarium följer direkt efter seminariet i institutionens pentry.

Abstract

On the traditional view, coordination between speech and breathing consists in language production requirements being the overriding factor shaping the observed respiratory patterns. Thus, for instance, utterances are claimed to be preceded by inhalations whose depth is proportional to duration and syntactic complexity of the following stretch of speech. In this talk, we propose to look at this problem from a different angle. Namely, instead of studying adaptations of breathing to speech production needs as a one-way execution pathway, we investigate to what extent speech production itself takes advantage of the momentary respiratory state. We focus on short feedback expressions, such as 'mhm', which are pervasive in spontaneous conversation but due to their limited duration and loudness have minimal respiratory requirements. The findings are taken to indicate the economy principle in speech production, whereby within the limits of their communicative goals (e.g. producing feedback) speakers adapt their behaviour in such a way that respiratory effort (i.e. the need for a new respiratory cycle) is minimised. Consequently, communicative needs, respiratory constraints and momentary lung volume jointly shape the coordinative respiratory patterns.

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