What You See is What You Get Prosodically Less — Visibility Shapes Prosodic Prominence Production in Spontaneous Interaction

Petra Wagner, Nataliya Bryhadyr


We investigated the expression of prosodic prominence related to unpredictability and relevance in spontaneous dyadic interactions in which interlocutors could or could not see each other. Interactions between visibility and prominence were analyzed in a verbal version of the game TicTacToe. This setting allows for disentangling different types of information structure: early moves tend to be unpredictable, but are typically irrelevant for the immediate outcome of the game, while late moves tend to be predictable but relevant, as they usually prevent an opponent’s winning move or constitute a winning move by themselves.

Our analyses on German reveal that prominence expression is affected globally by visibility conditions: speech becomes overall softer and faster when interlocutors can see each other. However, speakers differentiate unpredictability and relevance-related accents rather consistently using intensity cues both under visibility and invisibility conditions. We also find that pitch excursions related to prosodic information structure are not affected by visibility. Our findings support effort-optimization models of speech production, but also models that regard speech production as an integrated bimodal process with a high degree of congruency across domains.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-177

Cite as: Wagner, P., Bryhadyr, N. (2017) What You See is What You Get Prosodically Less — Visibility Shapes Prosodic Prominence Production in Spontaneous Interaction. Proc. Interspeech 2017, 3226-3230, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-177.


@inproceedings{Wagner2017,
  author={Petra Wagner and Nataliya Bryhadyr},
  title={What You See is What You Get Prosodically Less — Visibility Shapes Prosodic Prominence Production in Spontaneous Interaction},
  year=2017,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2017},
  pages={3226--3230},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2017-177},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2017-177}
}