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

Aalborg, Denmark
September 3-7, 2001


A Word- and Turn-Oriented Approach to Exploring the Structure of Mandarin Dialogues

Shu-Chuan Tseng

Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

This paper investigates the structure of Mandarin spoken dialogues by analysing the distribution of words and turns used in dialogues. The results of an empirical quantitative study show that independent of speakers, there exists a kind of basic vocabulary for daily Mandarin conversations. It is proposed that this is the minimal set of a lexicon for the use of spoken Mandarin. Moreover, a number of words in the basic vocabulary were specifically used for marking various constituent boundaries in discourse, such as turn-initial and utterance-final. Discourse markers and disfluency are also taken into consideration for their highly frequent occurrences and their function of marking significant positions in spoken discourse. By means of lexical distribution and its interaction with turn taking, this paper demonstrates a new attempt to analyse the structure of Mandarin spoken dialogues.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Tseng, Shu-Chuan (2001): "A word- and turn-oriented approach to exploring the structure of Mandarin dialogues", In EUROSPEECH-2001, 2181-2184.