Function word repetitions emerge when speakers are operantly conditioned to reduce frequency of silent pauses.

@article{Howell2001FunctionWR,
  title={Function word repetitions emerge when speakers are operantly conditioned to reduce frequency of silent pauses.},
  author={Peter Howell and Stevie Sackin},
  journal={Journal of psycholinguistic research},
  year={2001},
  volume={30 5},
  pages={457-74}
}
Beattie and Bradbury (1979) reported a study in which, in one condition, they punished speakers when they produced silent pauses (by lighting a light they were supposed to keep switched off). They found speakers were able to reduce silent pauses and that this was not achieved at the expense of reduced overall speech rate. They reported an unexpected increase in word repetition rate. A recent theory proposed by Howell, Au-Yeung, and Sackin (1999) predicts that the change in word repetition rate… CONTINUE READING

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