Filler Sounds

For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.

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Crack Kid
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Filler Sounds

Postby Crack Kid » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:42 pm UTC

When a person's hesitating while speaking in English, they sometimes insert drawn out "[ə]" sound (The much maligned "uhhh" and "ummm") while I've noticed in French people seem to use something close to a drawn out "ʉ" sound. (Sorry if those aren't the right IPA symbols, I tried to get as close as possible)

Do other languages have something similar? Is there any linguistic significance to the sound used, or is it simply just the most common vowel sound in in each language? I know that's true for English, but I don't know enough French to make a judgement.

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steewi
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Re: Filler Sounds

Postby steewi » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:22 pm UTC

These weird filler sounds are quite normal, and most languages will have language specific ones. In Japanese, they often say 'anoooo...', and in Chinese it's almost embarrassing, because they say 'nei ge...', which means 'that one'. It often gets repeated, and quite quickly. This results in something that if you're not concentrating sounds like you're insulting African-Americans.

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liza
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Re: Filler Sounds

Postby liza » Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:22 am UTC

steewi wrote:In Japanese, they often say 'anoooo...'

I've also heard "eeto". I don't understand multisyllabic fillers - it seems like monosyllabic ones would be more natural. Though, aren't all lone vowels words in and of themselves in Japanese? That'd account for the need of a multisyllabic filler.
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4=5
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Re: Filler Sounds

Postby 4=5 » Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:42 am UTC

english has two different pauses to fill

short pause = like, um, you know
long pause = uhhhh, umm ("er" was a joke based on the non rhotic pronunciation)

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Interactive Civilian
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Re: Filler Sounds

Postby Interactive Civilian » Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:47 am UTC

liza wrote:
steewi wrote:In Japanese, they often say 'anoooo...'

I've also heard "eeto". I don't understand multisyllabic fillers - it seems like monosyllabic ones would be more natural. Though, aren't all lone vowels words in and of themselves in Japanese? That'd account for the need of a multisyllabic filler.

Funny thing about "eeto" (which is the Japanese equivalent of "uhhhhh") is that they sometimes apply politeness to it.

Seriously.

Many times, I have heard employees talking to customers and say something like, "eeeto, desu ne." :mrgreen:

Yes. That is the polite way of saying, "hmmmm" or "uhhhh" or any other thinking sound. I love Japanese.
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Hurduser
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Re: Filler Sounds

Postby Hurduser » Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:58 am UTC

Germans normally uses something which sounds like the article 'a' in English, only longer. You can guess that this leads to drama during the first English lectures if students don't know any further and have a sufficiently sadistic teacher.
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Re: Filler Sounds

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:03 pm UTC

steewi wrote:in Chinese it's almost embarrassing, because they say 'nei ge...', which means 'that one'.

Interesting, because in Spanish, este is a common filler, and it means "this one".
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Eugo
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Re: Filler Sounds

Postby Eugo » Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:01 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
steewi wrote:in Chinese it's almost embarrassing, because they say 'nei ge...', which means 'that one'.

Interesting, because in Spanish, este is a common filler, and it means "this one".


Or the SCB "ovaj" (this one), which was often used as a filler, or rather described as a "crutch word". I presume that it would sound funny to the uninitiated how the final j (the y sound... I'll really have to learn to use IPA here) can be extended to make sufficient time for the brain to find the next, ovajjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj, word.
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