Acoustic, Morphological, and Functional Aspects of `yeah/ja' in Dutch, English and German

Jürgen Trouvain, Khiet Phuong Truong

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    We explore different forms and functions of one of the most common feedback expressions in Dutch, English, and German, namely `yeah/ja' which is known for its multi-functionality and ambiguous usage in dialog. For example, it can be used as a yes-answer, or as a pure continuer, or as a way to show agreement. In addition, `yeah/ja' can be used in its single form, but it can also be combined with other particles, forming multi-word expressions, especially in Dutch and German. We have found substantial differences on the morpho-lexical level between the three related languages which enhances the ambiguous character of `yeah/ja'. An explorative analysis of the prosodic features of `yeah/ja' has shown that mainly a higher intensity is used to signal speaker incipiency across the inspected languages.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Interdisciplinary Workshop on Feedback Behaviors
    Place of PublicationEl Paso
    PublisherUniversity of Texas
    Number of pages4
    ISBN (Print)not assigned
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012
    EventInterdisciplinary Workshop on Feedback Behaviors - Stevenson, Washington, USA
    Duration: 7 Sept 20128 Sept 2012

    Publication series

    PublisherUniversity of Texas


    WorkshopInterdisciplinary Workshop on Feedback Behaviors
    Other7-8 Sep 2012


    • dialog act
    • EWI-22958
    • IR-84180
    • METIS-296250
    • Feedback
    • Prosody
    • Backchannel

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