10th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brighton, United Kingdom
September 6-10, 2009

Cross-Cultural Perception of Discourse Phenomena

Rolf Carlson (1), Julia Hirschberg (2)

(1) KTH, Sweden
(2) Columbia University, USA

We discuss perception studies of two low level indicators of discourse phenomena by Swedish, Japanese, and Chinese native speakers. Subjects were asked to identify upcoming prosodic boundaries and disfluencies in Swedish spontaneous speech. We hypothesize that speakers of prosodically unrelated languages should be less able to predict upcoming phrase boundaries but potentially better able to identify disfluencies, since indicators of disfluency are more likely to depend upon lexical, as well as acoustic information. However, surprisingly, we found that both phenomena were fairly well recognized by native and non-native speakers, with, however, some possible interference from word tones for the Chinese subjects.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Carlson, Rolf / Hirschberg, Julia (2009): "Cross-cultural perception of discourse phenomena", In INTERSPEECH-2009, 1723-1726.