The ATAROS project aims to identify acoustic signals of stance-taking in order to inform the development of automatic stance recognition in natural speech. Due to the typically low frequency of stance-taking in existing corpora that have been used to investigate related phenomena such as subjectivity, we are creating an audio corpus of unscripted conversations between dyads as they complete collaborative tasks designed to elicit a high density of stance-taking at increasing levels of involvement. To validate our experimental design and provide a preliminary assessment of the corpus, we examine a fully transcribed and time-aligned portion to compare the speaking styles in two tasks, one expected to elicit low involvement and weak stances, the other high involvement and strong stances. We find that although overall measures such as task duration and total word count do not indicate consistent differences across tasks, speakers do display significant differences in speaking style. Factors such as increases in speaking rate, turn length, and disfluencies from weak- to strong-stance tasks are consistent with increased involvement by the participants and provide evidence in support of the experimental design.
Bibliographic reference. Freeman, Valerie / Chan, Julian / Levow, Gina-Anne / Wright, Richard / Ostendorf, Mari / Zayats, Victoria (2014): "Manipulating stance and involvement using collaborative tasks: an exploratory comparison", In INTERSPEECH-2014, 303-307.