LECTURE 2.8 – Speech Production
Real conversations can be very and are often nothing close to what we see in movies. They
require certain elements to function as well.
For one thing conversations require personnel. The term personnel refers to individuals, and to
meet this requirement a conversation must have personnel to conduct it.
In addition to personnel a conversation requires three more aspects...
o Pre –Sequences
These are conversation starters like “hello” and “what’s up” that let the other
person know that you are interested in a conversation.
This is an exchange of relevant information between parties to further the
conversation towards its goal.
o Common Ground
Knowledge held by both parties that will influence what is discussed. For
example if you want to talk about “Roger” but the person you’re conversing
with doesn’t know who Roger is, then you must establish common ground.
“You know Roger?” “Who?” “My roommate!” ”Oh yeah Roger, the tall
Conversations also consist of things called adjacency pairs which are quick exchanges in which
both parties contribute.
Person A: “Hi!” Person B: “Hello!”
Person A: “Do you sell these?” Person B “Yes, over there.”
Person A: “You a legend.” Person B “Yup.”
One of the most basic conventions of conversations is turn taking. It is assumed that everyone
participating in a conversation knows how to properly take turns. People will often use cues to
obtain turns; for example you might clear your throat, raise your hand or say “ya” repeatedly
until you’re allowed your turn.
People participating in a conversation also have a shared context; i.e. we are all sitting in the
living together. Part of the reason why talking on the phone can be so awkward is because there
is no shared context so the person that you’re conversing with can’t possibly know what it is
that’s happening in your environment.
Speech is produced online; this means that we plan what we are going to say several words in
advance. Hesitations (stumbling in speech) occur when we haven’t planned adequately ahead.
Historically, psychologists have examined speech errors to gain insight into how we produce
speech. Some examples are Wundt and Lashley discovering that speech is centrally planned or
Freud’s famous term Freudian Slips to describe slips of the tongue. Speech errors are abundant and it’s no surprise why. We produce speech at a very rapid rate of
up to 12 phonemes per second. This requires the coordination of respiration, the larynx and
Fromkin is a more modern psychologist who studied these speech errors. She claimed that they
were a valuable window into how we process speech and f