On the role of pauses – a qualitative and quantitative analysis of selected political speeches in the European Parliament


  • Karin Semaník Miklóssiová University of Pavol Jozef Šafárik in Košice




duration, fundamental frequency, pause types, speech


This paper presents an analysis of speech pauses occurring in selected political speeches, with a focus on both filled and silent types. The paper aims to highlight differences among pause categories in spoken language and assess potential gender differences. By analyzing speeches from male and female speakers in specific syntactic contexts, the paper reveals limited variations in fundamental frequency and pause duration. While certain subcategories exhibit slight differences in frequency, consistent patterns are lacking.

Findings indicate that filled, hesitation, politeness, and perturbation pauses tend to be longer, whereas specification and personal stance pauses tend to have lower frequencies. Enumeration, opposition, and segmenting pauses strategically support a speaker's point, aligned with sentence structure. Investigating fundamental frequency trends before pauses demonstrates that a decrease in frequency signifies unit culmination, while an increase suggests non-final positions within units.

The paper concludes that disparities exist among pause types, though differences between male and female speakers are generally minor. This emphasizes the need to consider multiple factors, including duration, frequency, and syntactic context, for comprehensive pause definitions. Overall, the paper provides insight into speech pause attributes, variations, and their significance in conveying meaning, thus enriching our understanding of speech patterns and communication strategies.


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How to Cite

Semaník Miklóssiová, K. (2023). On the role of pauses – a qualitative and quantitative analysis of selected political speeches in the European Parliament. Studia Anglica Resoviensia, 20, 179–201. https://doi.org/10.15584/sar.2023.20.10