Disfluencies in oral language

In oral language, speakers form sentences while speaking, which means that sometimes they might search for words while speaking. They may repeat a word until they find the right one, or they may try with one word and then decide to change.

Repetitions and reformulations

To analyse constructions of repetition or reformulation, we use the relation conj:dicto.


The conj:dicto relation applies also when the linked words are not the same.


Unfinished constructions

Sometimes speakers utter a half-finished construction. In that case, it may happen that a word cannot be attached to its head, because the speaker decided not to utter it.


In this example we can see the construction Je lis son le portrait de notre de votre héros (English: I’im reading his the portrayal of our of your hero). This construction causes some issues because we can’t attach the word notre to its semantic head héros because of the presence of the second de.

If the sentence was portrait de notre votre héros (English: portrayal of our your hero) we could use the conj:dicto relation to attach votre to notre.

In these cases we prefer to attach the two words de with a conj:dicto relation and link the word notre to the first de as an incomplete object - comp:obj@scrap.

Below we can see an example when a speaker starts with one word, then decides it doesn’t fit and searches for a more fitting word.