yes. the hypothesis are the correct ones.
While I have you, I am getting a lot of duplicated calls to the rapidEars delegate method for the same audio trigger (just one word). Sometimes, the delegate method is called 20+ times. I have set
[[OEPocketsphinxController sharedInstance] setReturnDuplicatePartials:NO];
In fact, after a while, RapidEars would stop picking up words. (this is probably a different thread.)