Silent pauses as clarification trigger

  • Loredana Schettino Università degli Studi di Salerno, Italy
  • Maria Di Maro Università degli Studi di Napoli ”Federico II”, Italy
  • Francesco Cutugno Università degli Studi di Napoli ”Federico II”, Italy


Among possible pragmatic feedback an interlocutor can use to acknowledge the degree of understanding of an utterance, clarification requests (CRs) are to be considered. The functional role of CRs can furthermore be expressed via silent pauses - or failed turn-giving moves - which express an understanding problem and are solved through a clarify speech act. In this work, we therefore hypothesise that some silent pauses, in specific conditions, may also have an interactional role which is interpreted by the speaker as a clarification need.