Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action IF DEMOS

H2020-MSCA-IF-2018 - Disfluencies and eye movements during speech: what can they reveal about language production? demos

This project is part of a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship hosted by the Department of Experimental Psychology of UGent, for 24 months. It involves a post-doctoral researcher (Dr. Aurélie Pistono) and a supervisor (Prof. Robert J. Hartsuiker).

" difficult to to protest- uh process online"... We all produce disfluencies, which includes various phenomena such as pauses, repeated words, and self-corrections. According to some estimates, the rate of disfluencies in spontaneous speech is about 6 per 100 words; however it is still not well understood why speakers are not totally fluent. To date, no psycholinguistic model of language production takes into account disfluencies or explains mechanistically why they occur. There is consensus that disfluencies are indicative of difficulties during language production, but it is not clear at what levels of language production such difficulty is situated and what the nature of these difficulties is.

This fellowship aims to carry on this investigation of connected speech by 1) combining this approach with tracking the ocular behaviours associated with speech production and disfluency; 2) using neuropsychological tests as a complementary tool, to understand when disfluencies occur and what purpose they serve.

More precisely, four strands of research using Network Tasks (see Figure) are expected to increase our understanding of difficulties related to connected speech and to make an important contribution to current models of language production in general. This fellowship will allow a pioneering investigation of language and disfluency. It will open new avenues for the investigation and understanding of connected-speech production in normal and clinical populations, as well as new methods and perspectives in the use of eye-tracking for language production research.

Objectives of DEMOS

- Define the pattern of disfluency related to lexical, conceptual or phonological difficulty
- Identify disfluencies that take place outside the language system (i.e. related to other difficulties)
- Improve current psycholinguistic models of language production

Role of Ghent University

Ghent University is the host institution.


Prof. Robert J. Hartsuiker
Department of Experimental psychology
Phone number: +32 (0)9 264 6436