ISCA Archive Interspeech 2021
ISCA Archive Interspeech 2021

Speaker Transition Patterns in Three-Party Conversation: Evidence from English, Estonian and Swedish

Marcin Włodarczak, Emer Gilmartin

During conversation, speakers hold and relinquish the floor, resulting in turn yield and retention. We examine these phenomena in three-party conversations in English, Swedish, and Estonian. We define within- and between-speaker transitions in terms of shorter intervals of speech, silence and overlap bounded by stretches of one-party speech longer than 1 second by the same or different speakers. This method gives us insights into how turn change and retention proceed, revealing that the majority of speaker transitions are more complex and involve more intermediate activity than a single silence or overlap. We examine the composition of within and between transitions in terms of number of speakers involved, incidence and proportion of solo speech, silence and overlap. We derive the most common within- and between-speaker transitions in the three languages, finding evidence of striking commonalities in how the floor is managed. Our findings suggest that current models of turn-taking used in dialogue technology could be extended using these results to more accurately reflect the realities of human-human dialogue.


doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2021-199

Cite as: Włodarczak, M., Gilmartin, E. (2021) Speaker Transition Patterns in Three-Party Conversation: Evidence from English, Estonian and Swedish. Proc. Interspeech 2021, 801-805, doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2021-199

@inproceedings{wodarczak21_interspeech,
  author={Marcin Włodarczak and Emer Gilmartin},
  title={{Speaker Transition Patterns in Three-Party Conversation: Evidence from English, Estonian and Swedish}},
  year=2021,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2021},
  pages={801--805},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2021-199}
}