Hesitation and monitoring phenomena in bilingual speech: A consequence of code-switching or a strategy to facilitate its incorporation?

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Abstract

Hesitation and monitoring phenomena (hereafter HMP) are forms that occur in speech such as filled or unfilled pauses, paralinguistic markers such as (nervous) laughter or coughing, or signals which pre-empt or justify other forms in utterances. The functions of these forms have commonly been associated with planning or accessing difficulties. However, HMP can also have a function of signalling clause boundaries, changes of mood or topic, aiding intelligibility for listeners. This paper draws on a large sample of bilingual speech and examines the overall incidence of HMP from two contributing languages, Croatian and English, and their incidence in speech containing code-switching. Analysis of results seeks to establish whether there is disproportionately high frequency of HMP surrounding code-switches, and whether such HMP are indicative of accessing/production difficulties concomitant to the appearance of code-switches, or appear to perform a function that facilitates the intelligibility of code-switches. HMP co-occur disproportionately with code-switches. However, analysis of code-switching examples shows that different types of code-switches attract higher or lower frequencies of HMP, depending on their phonological and/or morphological form. Although not identical to discourse markers, HMP perform a congruent function, that of integrating or facilitating the incorporation of 'other language' text.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3793-3806
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Volume43
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • Bilingual speech
  • Code-switching
  • Discourse markers
  • Hesitation phenomena
  • Metalinguistic awareness

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