4th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Philadelphia, PA, USA
October 3-6, 1996

Using Prosodic Clues to Decide When to Produce Back-channel Utterances

Nigel Ward

University of Tokyo

Back-channel feedback is required in order to build spoken dialog systems that are responsive. This paper reports a model of back-channel feedback in Japanese dialog. It turns out that a low pitch region is a good clue that the speaker is ready for back-channel feedback. A rule based on this fact matches corpus data on respondents' production of back-channel feedback. A system based on this rule meets the expectations of live speakers, sometimes well enough to fool them into thinking they are conversing with a human.

Full Paper   Sound Example

Bibliographic reference.  Ward, Nigel (1996): "Using prosodic clues to decide when to produce back-channel utterances", In ICSLP-1996, 1728-1731.