Sixth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing
(ICSLP 2000)

Beijing, China
October 16-20, 2000

An Experimental Verification of the Prosodic/Lexical Effects on the Occurrence of Backchannels

Hiroaki Noguchi (1,2), Yasuhiro Katagiri (1), Yasuharu Den (2)

(1) ATR Media Integration and Communications Research Laboratories, Seikacho, Kyoto, Japan
(2) Graduate School of Information Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Ikoma, Nara, Japan

Japanese backchannel utterances have recently been studied to incorporate their conversational and social functions into spoken dialogue interfaces. Most of the studies employ corpus-based methodologies to elucidate conditions under which backchannel utterances occur. We propose, in this paper, an experimental method to identify backchannel-contexts through controlled manipulation of local prosody of conversational utterances by incorporating speech synthesis technologies. We found that backchannel- facilitating contexts have to be characterized both in terms of the lexical features and the local prosody, whereas backchannel- suppressing contexts can be partially identified in terms of the phrase-end prosody.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Noguchi, Hiroaki / Katagiri, Yasuhiro / Den, Yasuharu (2000): "An experimental verification of the prosodic/lexical effects on the occurrence of backchannels", In ICSLP-2000, vol.2, 628-631.