The use of the lexical item ize 'um' is sometimes thought of as revealing sloppiness of speech and therefore to be avoided. The present paper aims at clarifying the status of ize and of two similar items, hogyhivjak 'whatchamacallit' and hogymondjam 'how shall I say', with the help of methods of dicourse analysis. The results are accounted for in the framework of Levelt's (1989) model of speech production, due to the fact that such lexical fillers are used for initiating various repairs of speech production errors that are hard-to-avoid concomitants of spontaneous (informal) discourse. The study shows that ize is available for overcoming a number of various types of speech planning errors and that hogyhivjak (whose functions overlap with those of ize) and hogymondjam are used for quite different types of errors, hence they are far from being as similar as they are often thought to be.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.