Phrase Breaks in Everyday Conversations from Sociolinguistic Perspective

  • Natalia Bogdanova-BeglarianEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 943)


This study was made on the base of the ORD corpus of everyday spoken Russian, containing the rich collection of audio recordings made in real-life settings. Speech transcripts of the ORD corpus imply mandatory indication of word and phrase breaks, self-correction, hesitations, fillers and other irregularities of spoken discourse. The paper deals with speech breaks in oral discourse (word breaks, phrase breaks, intraphrasal pauses, etc.). Quantitative analysis performed on the subcorpus of 187 600 tokens has shown that 7,56% of all phrases in everyday communication are not finished. If word breaks can be referred to word search/choice or self-correction, phrase breaks affect the text level and result in ragged, rough, and poorly structured syntactic sequence. Sociolinguistic analysis has revealed that phrase breaks are more frequent in men’s speech than in the women’s (8.16 vs. 7,12%). Seniors have significantly more speech breaks (10,76%) than children (6,78%), youth (6,08%) and middle-aged people (7,37%). As for status groups of speakers, the highest share of breaks is found in speech of unemployed and retired people (10,75%), whereas the lowest percentage of breaks is observed in speech of managers (4,50%) who care, apparently, more about their speech quality than others.


Speech disfluencies Phrase breaks Spoken Russian Sociophonetics 



The research was conducted within the framework of the project, supported by the Russian Scientific Foundation, # 14-18-02070 “Everyday Russian Language in Different Social Groups”.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Saint Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia

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