Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

Response Types and The Prosody of Declaratives

Catherine Lai

Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

This paper presents a production study of declarative responses in varying dialogue contexts. The goal was to determine what sort of dialogue conditions produce systematic variations in prosody, and what these variations mean for discourse interpretation. After controlling for information structural factors, we found that distinct prosodic forms were predictably and consistently elicited by varying the response type of the utterance. In particular, we found that indirect agreements/contradictions were produced with a distinct intonational form compared to to direct responses. We quantify the prosodic separability of these response types via classification experiments, comparing the usefulness of both aggregate features, e.g. mean and variance, and features derived from function decomposition techniques. We find that the latter approach allows us for a more succinct description of category differences in terms of tilt and convexity.

Index Terms: Prosody, Production, Pragmatics, Dialogue acts, Information structure, F0 modelling.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lai, Catherine (2012): "Response types and the prosody of declaratives", In SP-2012, 733-736.