Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

Accentuation as Cue for Speaker Adaptation

Constantijn Kaland, Emiel Krahmer, Marc Swerts

Tilburg centre for Communication and Cognition (TiCC), The Netherlands

A spoken interaction can be viewed as a collaborative process between interlocutors. In order to get a smooth exchange of information, speakers tend to adapt their utterances to their addressees. The present study investigates to what extent prosodic accentuation in Dutch may cue whether speakers adapt to each other. It is known that accents in Dutch can be used to highlight whether information is given or new to the discourse. The current study aims to find evidence for the fact that accents as markers of information status can signal successful adaptation between speakers. In particular, the study uses dialogues in which accent distributions are congruent or incongruent with respect to the given-new distinctions across speaking turns to test whether listeners' judgements about partner adaptation are affected. Results indeed show that listeners can attribute such judgements to pitch accent distributions.

Index Terms: discourse prosody, contrastive intonation, accentuation, partner adaptation

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kaland, Constantijn / Krahmer, Emiel / Swerts, Marc (2012): "Accentuation as cue for speaker adaptation", In SP-2012, 290-293.