Discourse analysis of speech breathing during spontaneous monolog

By M. Denny


What factors influence when, and how much, speakers inspire during a self-generated monolog?  Previous analyses have focused on the number of inspirations that do or do not occur at syntactic boundaries, and on the relationships between duration of utterance and preceding or following lung volume, but a discourse-level analysis may be needed to more fully account for the placement and volume of inspirations in self-generated monolog.  A tool much used by discourse analysts is the picture book, "Frog, where are you?" by Mercer Mayer, which contains no written language.  For the current study, young normal subjects were instrumented with a Respitrace and head-mounted microphone.  Lung volume, subject audio, and video were recorded as subjects watched a video (quiet breathing baseline), read the picture book silently, and told the story aloud.  Lung volume signals were calibrated and summed.  Inspirations were identified, measured, and aligned with transcripts of the subject's telling of the story.  Planned analyses include correlation of inspired volume with duration of the following group and placement of inspirations at appropriate syntactic boundaries.  In addition, discourse level analyses of transcripts of the stories will be used to generate predictions about subjects' placement and volume of inspirations.