The key research question of the project PINTS (pause-internal phonetic particles), funded by the DFG (German Research Council), is: What are the contributions of pauses and selected pause particles to the phonetic encoding and decoding, which we assume are strongly linked to each other?
More concretely, this project aims at investigating the phonetic particles contained in speech pauses, such as breath noises or tongue clicks. Through the analysis of existing speech corpora, complemented by our own experimental data, we plan to provide an inventory of pause-internal phonetic particles, along with descriptions of their phonetic characteristics and possible communicative functions. On the production side, the focus is on the acoustic manifestations of these particles with a special attention to the relationship between breath acoustics and breath kinematics in our own data. On the perceptual side, the listening experiments concentrate on the ease of processing and retention, by manipulating pauses and phonetic particles to explore the interplay between the principles of economy of effort (Hypospeech) and clarity (Hyperspeech). In addition, synthetic speech is modeled regarding pauses and the phonetic particles therein, and evaluated by listening tests.