Sixth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing
(ICSLP 2000)

Beijing, China
October 16-20, 2000

Talking to Thimble Jellies: Children’s Conversational Speech with Animated Characters

Sharon Oviatt

Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Oregon Graduate Institute, Beaverton, OR, USA

As spoken language systems become more conversational in nature, new interfaces are emerging with animated characters that are designed to elicit and manage a conversation with the user. In the present study, the spoken language of ten 6-to-10-year-old children was compared while interacting with an animated character in the I SEE! interface and again while interacting with a human adult. Analyses revealed that 25% of children’s utterances contained disfluencies or idiosyncratic lexical content that would be difficult for a recognizer to process. Children had significantly higher disfluency rates than adults, and a steeper slope in their rate of disfluencies as a function of utterance length. The long-term goal of this research is the development of appropriate and robust conversational interfaces for children.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Oviatt, Sharon (2000): "Talking to thimble jellies: children˛s conversational speech with animated characters", In ICSLP-2000, vol.3, 877-880.