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On the acoustic, prosodic and gestural characteristics of “m-like” sounds in Swedish
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Speech Communication and Technology.
2005 (English)In: Feedback in spoken interaction: NordTalk Symposium / [ed] Jens Allwood, Göteborg: Göteborg University , 2005, Vol. Feedback in Spoken Interaction- Nordtalk Symposium 2003, 18-31 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the present study is to verify what communicative functions “m-like” sounds can have in spoken Swedish and investigate both the relationship between prosodic variation and communicative function and the relationship between the production of “mlike” sounds and their accompanying gestures. The main hypothesis tested is that the different communicative functions carried by these “m-like” sounds are conveyed by means of different prosodic cues. To test this hypothesis, audio-recordings of two dialogues, elicited with the map-task technique, were used. A distributional and functional analysis of “m-like” sounds was first carried out. Afterwards, an acoustic analysis of these sounds was performed to find out how prosodic variation and communicative function are related. The results show that the most common function carried out by “m-like” sounds is that of feedback. The general category of feedback can be further divided in sub-categories depending on the specific function that the short expression carries out in the given context. To each function it is possible to relate a prototypical F0 contour and acoustic characteristics. For the analysis of the accompanying gestures of “m-like” sounds, two AV recordings of spontaneous dialogues were used. The results of the distributional analysis show that 41% of all the analysed “m-like” sounds are accompanied by a gesture. The most common accompanying gestures are head movement s such as nods and jerks. The relationship between the function carried by speech and the specific function of the accompanying gesture has also been coded and analyzed. Gestures co-occurring with speech can either have a “non-marked/neutral” function, which means that they do not add further information to what is being said with speech, or can be produced to add, emphasize weaken or contradicting speech. When the function of these gestures is neutral, they tend to have a minimal extent, while when their specific function is to emphasize the information expressed by speech, their extent tends to be bigger. This result might be related to the fact that gestures are often produced to emphasize information that is also focused by mechanisms like prosody in speech.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Göteborg University , 2005. Vol. Feedback in Spoken Interaction- Nordtalk Symposium 2003, 18-31 p.
, Gothenburg papers in theoretical linguistics, ISSN 0349-102 ; 91
National Category
Computer Science Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-51878OAI: diva2:465172
NordTalk Symposium, November 27-29 2003
tmh_import_11_12_14. QC 20120103Available from: 2011-12-14 Created: 2011-12-14 Last updated: 2012-01-03Bibliographically approved

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