5th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Rhodes, Greece
September 22-25, 1997

Prosodic Cycles and Interpersonal Synchrony in American English and Swedish

Eugene H. Buder (1), Anders Eriksson (2)

(1) School of Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA
(2) Department of Phonetics Umeň University, Umeň, Sweden

The paper addresses the question of rhythmic structuring of conversational interaction. Conversational speech requires active co- operation and co-ordination of the behavior of two or more speakers. Previous research indicates that one of the mechanisms used by speakers to regulate conversational interaction, is close monitoring and adaptation to rhythmic patterns. When this does not function properly, interaction may be adversely affected or even break down. There are reasons to believe that these mechanisms are used universally across languages, but there are also likely to be patterns that are language-specific. The research project, of which the present paper forms a first published report, is an attempt at separating the universal and language-specific aspects of the regulating rhythmic patterns. Although this research is primarily meant to clarify the mechanisms of conversational interaction from a linguistic/phonetic point of view, its applicability to speech technology is evident. Growing interest in dialogue systems for applications to man-machine communication demands more detailed data on all aspects of natural human conversation.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Buder, Eugene H. / Eriksson, Anders (1997): "Prosodic cycles and interpersonal synchrony in American English and Swedish", In EUROSPEECH-1997, 235-238.