Fluency and disfluency have attracted a great deal of attention in different areas of linguistics such as language acquisition or psycholinguistics. They have been investigated through a wide range of methodological and theoretical frameworks, including corpus linguistics, experimental pragmatics, perception studies and natural language processing, with applications in the domains of language learning, teaching and testing, human/machine communication and business communication.
Spoken and signed languages are produced and comprehended online, with typically very little time to plan ahead. As a result, they are often characterized by features such as (filled and unfilled) pauses, discourse markers, repeats and self-repairs, which can be said to reflect on-going mechanisms of processing and monitoring. The role of these items is ambivalent, as they can both be a symptom of encoding difficulties and a sign that the speaker is trying to help the hearer decode the message. They should thus be interpreted in context to identify their contribution to fluency and/or disfluency, which can be viewed as two faces of the same phenomenon.
Within the frame of a research project entitled “Fluency and disfluency markers. A multimodal contrastive perspective” (see http://www.uclouvain.be/en-415256.html), the universities of Louvain and Namur have been involved in a large-scale usage-based study of (dis)fluency markers in spoken French, L1 and L2 English, and French Belgian Sign Language (LSFB), with a focus on variation according to language, speaker and genre. To close this five-year research project, an international conference will be organized in Louvain-la-Neuve on the subject of fluency and disfluency across languages and language varieties.
The conference aims at bringing together scholars and researchers from different disciplines in order to discuss and confront different conceptions and perspectives on fluency and disfluency, in both spoken and sign languages. We particularly welcome abstracts for oral or poster presentations on the following topics:
- theoretical insights gained from the study of fluency and disfluency;
- methodological issues raised by the investigation of (dis)fluency markers;
- acquisitional perspectives on (dis)fluency and pedagogical implications;
- contrastive analyses of (dis)fluency markers;
- variationist approaches to fluency and disfluency;
- (dis)fluency in the Sign Language of native, near-native and late signers;
- applications of fluency research (NLP, testing, etc.)
- Martin Corley (University of Edinburgh)
- Sandra Götz (University of Giessen)
- Helena Moniz (University of Lisboa)
- David Quinto-Pozos (University of Texas Austin)
Abstracts will be submitted to double blind reviews and should not include the author(s) name. Abstracts for oral and/or poster presentation (1000 words, excluding references) focusing on methodology and preliminary results should be submitted via Easy chair at the following address: