Beautiful noise? The impact of filled pauses on the perception of speaker charisma

Sina Voss*, Oliver Niebuhr


Publikation: Kapitel i bog/rapport/konference-proceedingKonferencebidrag i proceedingsForskningpeer review

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Niebuhr & Fischer focused on oral and nasal hesitation markers like “err” and “uhm” and, thus, did not address a further major group of nonverbal FPs: clicks. Trouvain (2015) shows that although German is a non-click language in phonemic terms, “clicks are used in a large diversity of functions” (p.21). In public speeches, clicks represent discourse markers that mainly indicate either topic change or disapproval – at least in languages like German and English (Ogden 2013). Clicks indicating dis-approval occur in connection with “word-finding trouble” (Trouvain 2015:27). Therefore, such clicks represent an acoustic projection of the speaker’s internal dissatisfaction with his/her own performance. It would be reasonable to assume that such clicks negatively affect the perceived speaker charisma in public speeches. However, this assumption has never been examined experimentally so far and, moreover, the assumption is not without any alternative. The perceptually subtle, impulse-like nature of clicks could also point in the opposite direction, i.e., that clicks largely go unnoticed by the audience of a public speaker and therefore do not affect his/her charismatic impact at all. The present paper presents a perception experiment that aimed at testing the two opposing assumptions about the effect of disfluency-related clicks in public speeches. In addition, we built on Niebuhr & Fischer’s field data research of “err” and “uhm” and systematically tested the effects of oral as opposed to nasal hesitation markers on perceived charisma under otherwise identical speaker and presentation conditions.
TitelBook of Abstracts of the 13th Nordic Prosody Conference
Antal sider3
Publikationsdato17. aug. 2022
StatusUdgivet - 17. aug. 2022


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