Speech Pauses and Dialogue Acts

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

Costanza Navarretta - Speaker

  • Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics
This study concerns the use of speech pauses, and especially breath pauses in a Danish corpus of spontaneous dyadic conversations. Speech pauses which have specific communicative functions are investigated in relation to their occurrences before and after other communicative units, all annotated and classified in the form of dialogue acts. Breath pauses have been addressed in only few studies even though they are important in communication and therefore should be accounted for when implementing human-machine dialogue systems. Dialogue acts, on the contrary, have been one of the backbones in dialogue systems since they generalize over different expressions of common communicative functions. In the current work, we describe the annotation of dialogue acts in the corpus and present an analysis of pauses using these annotations. To our best knowledge, dialogue acts have not been previously used for analyzing the functions of breath pauses. Our analysis shows that the most common type of pause having a communicative function in the Danish conversations are breath pauses. Breath pauses in the corpus have different uses, one of these being that of delimiting speech segments which are left unfinished and are then abandoned by the speaker (retractions in dialogue acts terminology) and therefore perceivable breathing can be a useful feature for determining spoken segments which must not be included in the dialogue history in human-machine dialogue systems.
9 Sep 2020

Event (Conference)

TitleIEEE International Conference on Human-Machine Systems
Abbreviated titleICHMS2020
ContextInternational event

ID: 248895393