The Relationship between Prosodic Ability and Conversational Prosodic Entrainment

Heike Lehnert-Lehouillier, Susana Terrazas, Steven Sandoval, Rachel Boren


Conversational entrainment or alignment - the convergence of conversational partners over the course of a conversation in a variety of linguistic features -is a well-attested conversational phenomenon. The research on prosodic entrainment has shown correlations between prosodic entrainment and several social dimensions of rapport between conversation partners. However, little is known about how skill level in the domain of entrainment affects the ability to converge during a conversation. The goal of the current paper was to investigate whether skill level of a speaker in receptive and expressive word, sentence, and emotional prosody is correlated with the amount of prosodic entrainment a speaker contributes at the conversational level. Twenty native speakers of American English were paired into ten dyads of seven female/female and three female/male conversation pairs. Conversations for each pair were recorded and analyzed. Test scores measuring word, sentence, and emotional prosody were correlated with the amount of fundamental frequency (F0) entrainment during the conversation. The results indicate that a weak negative correlation exists between expressive prosody skill and the amount F0 entrainment contributed by the speaker. Receptive prosody ability was not correlated with the amount of conversational prosodic entrainment that speakers contributed during a conversation.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-157

Cite as: Lehnert-Lehouillier, H., Terrazas, S., Sandoval, S., Boren, R. (2020) The Relationship between Prosodic Ability and Conversational Prosodic Entrainment. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 769-773, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-157.


@inproceedings{Lehnert-Lehouillier2020,
  author={Heike Lehnert-Lehouillier and Susana Terrazas and Steven Sandoval and Rachel Boren},
  title={{The Relationship between Prosodic Ability and Conversational Prosodic Entrainment}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={769--773},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-157},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-157}
}