Pitch Contour Matching and Interactional Alignment across Turns: An Acoustic Investigation

Jan Gorisch, Bill Wells, Guy J. Brown
2012 Language and Speech  
A bstract In o rd e r to ex p lo re th e influence o f c o n te x t on th e p hon etic design o f talk-in-interaction, w e investigated th e pitch characteristics o f s h o rt tu m s (in se rtio n s) th a t a re produced by on e Speaker betw een turns from a n o th e r Speaker. W e investigated th e hypothesis th a t th e Speaker o f th e insertion designs h e r tu rn as a pitch match to th e p rio r turn in o rd e r to align w ith th e previous speaker's agenda, w h ereas non-matching displays
more » ... th a t th e Speaker o f th e insertion is non-aligning, fo r exam ple to initiate a n e w action. D a ta w e re taken from th e A M I m eeting corpus, focusing on th e spontaneous talk o f first-language English participants. Using sequential analysis, 177 insertions w e r e classified as e ith e r aligning o r non-aligning in acco rd an ce w ith definitions o f these term s in th e C o n versa tio n Analysis literatu re. T h e degree o f sim ilarity betw een th e pitch c o n to u r o f th e insertion and th a t o f th e p rio r speaker's tu m w as m easured, using a n e w techn iqu e th a t integrates norm alized FO and in tensity inform ation. T h e results show ed th a t aligning insertions w e r e significantly m o re sim ilar to th e im m ediately preceding tu m , in term s o f pitch co n to u r, than w e r e non-aligning insertions. This Supports th e v ie w th a t cho ice o f pitch c o n to u r is managed locally, ra th e r than by re fe ren ce to an intonational lexicon.
doi:10.1177/0023830911428874 pmid:22480026 fatcat:tdkbk2w42vbtjemnomtu3tszmm