8th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Geneva, Switzerland
September 1-4, 2003


Child and Adult Speaker Adaptation During Error Resolution in a Publicly Available Spoken Dialogue System

Linda Bell, Joakim Gustafson

Telia Research, Sweden

This paper describes how speakers adapt their language during error resolution when interacting with the animated agent Pixie. A corpus of spontaneous human-computer interaction was collected at the Telecommunication museum in Stockholm, Sweden. Adult and children speakers were compared with respect to user behavior and strategies during error resolution. In this study, 16 adults and 16 children speakers were randomly selected from a corpus from almost 3.000 speakers. This sub-corpus was then analyzed in greater detail. Results indicate that adults and children use partly different strategies when their interactions with Pixie become problematic. Children tend to repeat the same utterance verbatim, altering certain phonetic features. Adults, on the other hand, often modify other aspects of their utterances such as lexicon and syntax. Results from the present study will be useful for constructing future spoken dialogue systems with improved error handling for adults as well as children.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Bell, Linda / Gustafson, Joakim (2003): "Child and adult speaker adaptation during error resolution in a publicly available spoken dialogue system", In EUROSPEECH-2003, 613-616.