Fillers, Repairs and Repetitions in the Conversations of Saudi English Speakers: Conversational Device or Disfluency Markers

Yaseen A. Azi


Based on the literature review, the three patterns (fillers, repairs and repetitions) in the conversations of the native English speakers are generally regarded as results of the normal speaking between people. On the other hand, the same patterns in the conversations of the L2 speakers are always seen as a marker of disfluency and linguistic disabilities of the nonnative speakers. Therefore, this study simply focuses on finding how the three disfluency patterns are used by the Saudi English speakers from different levels of fluency. The sampling of the study includes two groups of participants from different fluency levels. Through the transcriptions and the discourse analysis of one hour recoding of the two groups, the results showed that the three patterns (fillers, repairs and repetitions) should not be generally associated with disfluency. Instead, repetitions and self-repairs have been equally used by the two groups and such patterns can be used as a conversational device. However, the filler “uh” with longer pausing can clearly predict disfluency among the Saudi English speakers. 

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