Analysis of silences in unbalanced dialogues: the effect of genre and role

Vered Silber-Varod, Anat Lerner

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This study examines the diversity of silences in unbalanced dialogues, i.e. dialogues between speakers with different participation levels: responder and reporter. We examined two genres: therapeutic sessions and private dialogues that are based on this responder-reporter structure. When looking at silences versus speech ratios, we found no differences between the genres nor between the roles. However, when grouping the silences by their types: Pauses (intra-speaker silences), gaps (interspeakers’ silences) and silences that occur in the vicinity of speech overlaps, we found that the silence duration of pauses are role dependent in both genres, while the silence duration of gaps were found genre dependent, but not role dependent. Moreover, speech rate was not found genre
dependent. It seems that although silences in unbalanced dialogues vary considerably, genre and speaker’s role are influential.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)53-56
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017
EventThe 8th Workshop on Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech - KTH Royal Institute of Technology , Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 18 Aug 201719 Aug 2017


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