The Role of Temporal Variation in Narrative Organization

Nassima Fezza


The aim of this study was to see if temporal variation can be considered a robust cue in the discourse structuring process. If so, at what level (s) of the discursive structure does it operate? In a bottom-up corpus-based approach, we analyze a 58-minute corpus of 60 natural French speech narratives. First, the corpus was segmented at the phonemic, syllabic, lexical and inter-pausal unit levels. Second, a narrative segmentation was applied using the criteria of Labov’s evaluative model, which is based on semantic and informational criteria. Duration data was then extracted automatically at each level of granularity. The mapping of discourse segmentation to acoustic-phonetic analyses was made on two structural levels: micro and macro. A positive effect of local temporal variation in discourse structuring was not found, however, the existence of a link between the narrative internal segmentation and speech rate variation was identified. This variation is long-term, progressive and gradual which suggests a manipulation of this feature. In relation to the content, temporal values can be seen as contextual cues: relevant information is presented with a slower speech rate; while minor content is presented with a faster speech rate.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1725

Cite as: Fezza, N. (2018) The Role of Temporal Variation in Narrative Organization. Proc. Interspeech 2018, 2982-2986, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1725.


@inproceedings{Fezza2018,
  author={Nassima Fezza},
  title={The Role of Temporal Variation in Narrative Organization},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2018},
  pages={2982--2986},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1725},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1725}
}