Measuring Turn-Taking Offsets in Human-Human Dialogues

Rebecca Lunsford, Peter A. Heeman, Emma Rennie

This paper examines the pauses, gaps and overlaps associated with turn-taking in order to better understand how people engage in this activity, which should lead to more natural and effective spoken dialogue systems. This paper makes three advances in studying these durations. First, we take into account the type of turn-taking event, carefully treating interruptions, dual starts, and delayed backchannels, as these can make it appear that turn-taking is more disorderly than it really is. Second, we do not view turn-transitions in isolation, but consider turn-transitions and turn-continuations together, as equal alternatives of what could have occurred. Third, we use the distributions of turn-transition and turn-continuation offsets (gaps, overlaps, and pauses) to shed light on the extent to which turn-taking is negotiated by the two conversants versus controlled by the current speaker.

DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2016-1350

Cite as

Lunsford, R., Heeman, P.A., Rennie, E. (2016) Measuring Turn-Taking Offsets in Human-Human Dialogues. Proc. Interspeech 2016, 2895-2899.

author={Rebecca Lunsford and Peter A. Heeman and Emma Rennie},
title={Measuring Turn-Taking Offsets in Human-Human Dialogues},
booktitle={Interspeech 2016},