The uses and meanings of “Um” revisited

Back in 2010, we partially examined the oeuvre of Emanuel A. Schegloff, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles. Specifically his work on the meaning of “Uh(m)”s. Perhaps now’s the time to revisit “um” in academia? So may we also recommend the following papers, all of which can be read in their entirety at the click of a mouse.

professor-Fox-Tree● ‘Using uh and um in spontaneous speaking’ Cognition, 84 (2002) 73–111, by Herbert H. Clark and Jean E. Fox Tree [pictured]

● ‘Showing structure: using um in the academic seminarPragmatics, 14:4.479-498 (2004) by Johanna Rendle-Short

● ‘Disfluencies Signal Theee, Um: New Information’ Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2003, by Jennifer E. Arnold, Maria Fagnano and Michael K. Tanenhaus

●  ‘Hesitation disfluencies in spontaneous speech: The meaning of
um Language and Linguistics Compass, 4, 589-602. 2008, by
Martin Corley and Oliver W. Stewart of Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Scotland

● ‘On Gender Differences in the Distribution of um and uh’ University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics, Vol. 17, Iss. 2 (2011), by Eric K. Acton, Stanford University.

● ‘Does it hurt to say um?Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 19(3), 1995, by Nicholas Christenfeld

Coming Soon: Um and Language: A window into the brain?

Photo: The picture shows Professor Jean E. Fox Tree of the Spontaneous Communication Laboratory at the University of California Santa Cruz, US, who is a specialist (amongst much more) on ‘ums’. With at least four published papers examining the subject.


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