Transitions, pauses and overlaps: Temporal characteristics of turn-taking in Czech

Lenka Weingartová, Eliška Churaňová, Pavel Šturm


This study aims to describe temporal characteristics of pausing and turn-taking phenomena in conversation. The material comes from the VASST corpus of contemporary Czech and uses four spontaneous dialogues in the form of an informal interview. We describe both general and idiosyncratic effects found in our data and compare them with results from other languages. In our material, transitions with a silent gap, overlaps and back-channels all display notably similar durational distributions with the median around 360 ms and a marked skewing. The four dialogues did not differ in the proportion of turns belonging to the interviewer (58%) vs. interviewee (42%), which is hypothesized to characterize the experimental task. Despite a number of general tendencies, individual differences in pausing and turn-taking behaviour of the speakers were found as well. For instance, the ratio of pauses and gap transitions proved to be highly dialogue-specific. We also gathered evidence for a substantial change in the speech behaviour of the interviewer resulting from a change of her communication partner.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-87

Cite as: Weingartová, L., Churaňová, E., Šturm, P. (2014) Transitions, pauses and overlaps: Temporal characteristics of turn-taking in Czech. Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014, 502-506, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-87.


@inproceedings{Weingartová2014,
  author={Lenka Weingartová and Eliška Churaňová and Pavel Šturm},
  title={{Transitions, pauses and overlaps: Temporal characteristics of turn-taking in Czech}},
  year=2014,
  booktitle={Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014},
  pages={502--506},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-87},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-87}
}