The Effects of Noise Masking and Required Accuracy on Speech Errors, Disfluencies, and Self-Repairs The covert repair hypothesis views disfluencies as by-products of covert self-repairs applied to internal speech errors. To test this hypothesis we examined effects of noise masking and accuracy emphasis on speech error, disfluency, and self-repair rates. Noise reduced the numbers of disfluencies and self-repairs but did not affect speech error ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1992
The Effects of Noise Masking and Required Accuracy on Speech Errors, Disfluencies, and Self-Repairs
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Albert Postma
    The Nijmegen Institute for Cognition Research and Information Technology The Netherlands
  • Herman Kolk
    The Nijmegen Institute for Cognition Research and Information Technology The Netherlands
Article Information
Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1992
The Effects of Noise Masking and Required Accuracy on Speech Errors, Disfluencies, and Self-Repairs
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1992, Vol. 35, 537-544. doi:10.1044/jshr.3503.537
History: Received January 31, 1991 , Accepted August 6, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1992, Vol. 35, 537-544. doi:10.1044/jshr.3503.537
History: Received January 31, 1991; Accepted August 6, 1991

The covert repair hypothesis views disfluencies as by-products of covert self-repairs applied to internal speech errors. To test this hypothesis we examined effects of noise masking and accuracy emphasis on speech error, disfluency, and self-repair rates. Noise reduced the numbers of disfluencies and self-repairs but did not affect speech error rates significantly. With accuracy emphasis, speech error rates decreased considerably, but disfluency and self-repair rates did not. With respect to these findings, it is argued that subjects monitor errors with less scrutiny under noise and when accuracy of speaking is unimportant. Consequently, covert and overt repair tendencies drop, a fact that is reflected by changes in disfluency and self-repair rates relative to speech error rates. Self-repair occurrence may be additionally reduced under noise because the information available for error detection—that is, the auditory signal—has also decreased. A qualitative analysis of self-repair patterns revealed that phonemic errors were usually repaired immediately after their intrusion.

Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank Dirk-Jan Povel for his careful reading of the text, and Peter Alfonso and Ar Thomassen for their valuable comments on this paper. Also, we are very much indebted to Marionne Bartels for conducting all the experiments and for her help in the data analysis. Parts of these data are discussed in a preliminary form in Postma, Kolk, and Povel (1991) .
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