How speakers interrupt themselves in managing problems in speaking: Evidence from self-repairs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes


When speakers detect a problem in what they are saying, they must decide whether or not to interrupt themselves and repair the problem, and if so, when. Speakers will maximize accuracy if they interrupt themselves as soon as they detect a problem, but they will maximize fluency if they go on speaking until they are ready to produce the repair. Speakers must choose between these options. In a corpus analysis, we identified 448 speech repairs, classified them as major (as in a fresh start) or minor (as in a phoneme correction), and measured the interval between suspension and repair. The results showed that speakers interrupted themselves not at the moment they detected the problem but at the moment they were ready to produce the repair. Speakers preferred fluency over accuracy.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-842
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2008


  • Conversation, Disfluency, Language production, Self-monitoring