12th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Florence, Italy
August 27-31. 2011

Speaking More Like You: Entrainment in Conversational Speech

Julia Hirschberg

Department of Computer Science Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

When people engage in conversation, they adapt their speaking style of their conversational partner in a number of ways. They have been shown to adopt their interlocutor's way of describing objects and to align their accent, their syntax, their pitch range, and their speaking rate to their partner's -- as well as their gestures. They also adapt their turn-taking style and use of cue phrases to match their partner's. These types of entrainment have been shown to correlate with various measures of task success and dialogue naturalness. While there is considerable evidence for lexical entrainment from laboratory experiments, less is known about other types of acoustic-prosodic and discourselevel entrainment and little work has been done to examine entrainments in multiple modalities for the same dialogue. I will discuss research in entrainment in multiple dimensions on the Columbia Games Corpus and the Switchboard Corpus. Our goal is to understand how the different varieties of entrainment correlate with one another and to determine which types of entrainment will be both useful and feasible to model in Spoken Dialogue Systems..


Prof. Julia Hirschberg is professor of Computer Science at Columbia University, working on prosody, emotional speech and dialogue systems. She was editor-in-chief of Computational Linguistics from 1993-2003 and co-editor-in-chief of Speech Communication from 2003-2006. She served on the Executive Board of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) from 1993-2003, on the Permanent Council of International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP) since 1996, on the board of the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA) from 1999- 2007 (as President 2005-2007), and is currently on the board of the CRA-W. She has been a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence since 1994 and an ISCA Fellow since 2008. She received an honorary doctorate from KTH in 2007 and the James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award in 2011.

Bibliographic reference.  Hirschberg, Julia (2011): "Speaking more like you: entrainment in conversational speech", In INTERSPEECH-2011 (abstract).