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Pause is a very common phenomenon in spoken English, which is defined as a break or filler of equal to or longer than 0.2 or 0.3 second (Riggenbach, 1991; Zhang Wenzhong, 2002). Learners need pausing linguistically and physically when they speak English. It often happens when speakers don#8217;t know how to say or what to say. Some researches classify pauses as filled pause, unfilled pause or silence (Lennon, 1990; Smith and Clark, 1993; Richard, 2002). Pause has the function to adjust speech speed and to arouse the attention of listeners. Therefore, pause is an essential part of communication.
Numerous analyses on pauses have already been made by many scholars so far, among which some have talked about the influence of pause on oral fluency and disfluency. And the researches are from home and abroad.
1. Researches on pauses abroad
Richards (2002) holds that pausing, typical of filled pauses and silent pauses, is a commonly occurring feature of natural speech in which gaps or hesitations appear during the production of utterances.
According to Smith and Clark (1993), filled pauses do not embody any actual content or meaning, and yet play a meaningful role to both the parties in the communication: on the part of the speaker, it discloses that the speaker is confronted with some difficulty in the process of the encoding for his communicative intention.
Meanwhile, the speaker strives for some time to save face (Smith amp; Clark, 1993) by taking advantage of filled pauses to fill the temporary deficit in his logic and think, displaying the speakers#8217; active engagement in searching for an answer.
Other studies have observed that filled pauses more directly affect the language processing of listeners. Fox Tree (1995) examined the effects of false starts and word repetitions on listeners#8217; comprehension of speech, using an identical word monitoring task. Reaction times to the target words were longer when they were preceded by false starts than when the false starts were digitally excised.