EUROSPEECH 2001 Scandinavia
7th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Aalborg, Denmark
September 3-7, 2001


Testing the Perceptual Relevance of Syntactic Completion and Melodic Configuration for Turn-Taking in Dutch

Johanneke Caspers

Universiteit Leiden Centre for Linguistics, The Netherlands

The research presented in this paper focuses on the role of melodic configuration and syntactic completion in the turn-taking process in Dutch. Subjects were presented with fragments of task-oriented dialogue, in which syntactic completeness and four types of melodic configuration were systematically varied, asking them to indicate whether they expected the turn to change at a specific point or not. The number of expected speaker changes turns out to be very low when no possible syntactic completion point has been reached. A rising pitch accent followed by a level boundary tone (H* %) is generally interpreted as a signal that the speaker wishes to continue, while H* H%, H*L L% and H*L H% configurations at syntactic boundaries are expected to be followed by a speaker change in the majority of cases. The data support the view that syntactic and melodic completion play a major role in the projection of possible turn-transition places.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Caspers, Johanneke (2001): "Testing the perceptual relevance of syntactic completion and melodic configuration for turn-taking in dutch", In EUROSPEECH-2001, 1395-1398.