What entrainment reveals about the cognitive encoding of prosody and its relation to discourse function

Jennifer Cole, Uwe Reichel


What are the units of prosodic encoding in the mental representation of words and phrases, and how do those units contribute to signaling linguistic meaning? We consider evidence from the analysis of prosodic entrainmentÑwhereby conversation partners become more similar to one another in their prosodic expression. Entrained prosody reveals those properties of a speakerÕs prosody that are perceptually salient to her conversation partner and subsequently reproduced on the basis of a stored mental representation. We report on a study of prosodic entrainment in American English from game interactions under cooperative and competitive play. Entrainment is evaluated in relation to dialog act condition and measured through coarse, utterance-level f0 measures (mean, s.d.) and more fine-grained measures of global (phrasal) and local (pitch accent) f0 contours obtained from superpositional parametric f0 stylization (Reichel 2014). Linear mixed-effects models confirm predicted effects of dialog condition, with more entrainment in cooperative dialogs for the stylization-based parameters of the f0 contour, but not for the utterance-level parameters. Entrainment effects are found primarily at the beginning of talker turns. These findings suggest that prosody is linked to dialog act in cognitive representation, with an encoding in terms of the f0 contour rather than coarse utterance-level measures.


Cite as

Cole, J., Reichel, U. (2016) What entrainment reveals about the cognitive encoding of prosody and its relation to discourse function. Proc. Speech Prosody 2016, (abstract).

Bibtex
@inproceedings{Cole+2016,
author={Jennifer Cole and Uwe Reichel},
title={What entrainment reveals about the cognitive encoding of prosody and its relation to discourse function},
year=2016,
booktitle={Speech Prosody 2016}
}