14thAnnual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Lyon, France
August 25-29, 2013

Analyzing the Structure of Parent-Moderated Narratives from Children with ASD Using an Entity-Based Approach

Theodora Chaspari (1), Emily Mower Provost (2), Shrikanth Narayanan (1)

(1) University of Southern California, USA
(2) University of Michigan, USA

Storytelling is a commonly used technique for rating linguistic and communicative abilities of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It highlights their language use beyond sentencelevel production, and their ability to cohesively link events into a plot, including incorporating social context. A key scenario of interest we consider is spoken narrative creation in interactive settings, where confederates such as parents can offer scaffolding to their children's narratives by eliciting answers with appropriate questions, shaping the structure of the resulting narrative. We analyze the structure of children's stories narrated with the help of their parents using entity-based feature-level patterns in order to see how there are influenced by the parents' narrative elicitation techniques. The frequency distribution and evolution of entities -meaning the co-referent people, objects and ideas- can capture the main axis of the story plot. Our results indicate that the type of questions the parents ask can be reflected in the entity-based features of a narrative, affecting its underlying structure and coherence.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Chaspari, Theodora / Provost, Emily Mower / Narayanan, Shrikanth (2013): "Analyzing the structure of parent-moderated narratives from children with ASD using an entity-based approach", In INTERSPEECH-2013, 2430-2434.