11th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Makuhari, Chiba, Japan
September 26-30. 2010

Resources for Turn Competition in Overlap in Multi-Party Conversations: Speech Rate, Pausing and Duration

Emina Kurtić, Guy J. Brown, Bill Wells

University of Sheffield, UK

This paper investigates the prosodic features that speakers use to compete for the turn when they talk simultaneously. Most previous research has focused on F0 and energy variation as resources for turn competition; here, we investigate the relevance of speech rate, pausing and the duration of in-overlap talk. These features are extracted from a set of overlaps drawn from the ICSI Meetings Corpus, and used to derive decision trees that classify overlapping talk as competitive or non-competitive. The decision trees show that both pausing and the duration of the in-overlap speech are significantly related to turn competition for both overlappers and overlappees. Additionally, speech rate is used by overlappees to return competition upon a turn competitive incoming. These findings partially support and extend the observations made in previous studies within the framework of conversation analysis and interactional phonetics.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kurtić, Emina / Brown, Guy J. / Wells, Bill (2010): "Resources for turn competition in overlap in multi-party conversations: speech rate, pausing and duration", In INTERSPEECH-2010, 2550-2553.