Final Rises in Task-oriented and Conversational Dialogue

Catherine Lai


This paper examines the distribution of utterance final pitch rises in dialogues with different task structures. More specifically, we examine map-task and topical conversation dialogues of Southern Standard British English speakers in the IViE corpus. Overall, we find that the map-task dialogues contain more rising features, where these mainly arise from instructions and affirmatives. While rise features were somewhat predictive of turn-changes, these effects were swamped by task and role effects. Final rises were not predictive of affirmative responses. These findings indicate that while rises can be interpreted as indicating some sort of contingency, it is with respect to the higher level discourse structure rather than the specific utterance bearing the rise. We explore the relationship between rises and the need for co-ordination in dialogue, and hypothesize that the more speakers have to co-ordinate in a dialogue, the more rising features we will see on non-question utterances. In general, these sorts of contextual conditions need to be taken into account when we collect and analyze intonational data, and when we link them to speaker states such as uncertainty or submissiveness.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-91

Cite as: Lai, C. (2014) Final Rises in Task-oriented and Conversational Dialogue. Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014, 520-524, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-91.


@inproceedings{Lai2014,
  author={Catherine Lai},
  title={{Final Rises in Task-oriented and Conversational Dialogue}},
  year=2014,
  booktitle={Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014},
  pages={520--524},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-91},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-91}
}