A Scalable Method for Quantifying the Role of Pitch in Conversational Turn-Taking

Kornel Laskowski, Marcin Wlodarczak, Mattias Heldner


Abstract
Pitch has long been held as an important signalling channel when planning and deploying speech in conversation, and myriad studies have been undertaken to determine the extent to which it actually plays this role. Unfortunately, these studies have required considerable human investment in data preparation and analysis, and have therefore often been limited to a handful of specific conversational contexts. The current article proposes a framework which addresses these limitations, by enabling a scalable, quantitative characterization of the role of pitch throughout an entire conversation, requiring only the raw signal and speech activity references. The framework is evaluated on the Switchboard dialogue corpus. Experiments indicate that pitch trajectories of both parties are predictive of their incipient speech activity; that pitch should be expressed on a logarithmic scale and Z-normalized, as well as accompanied by a binary voicing variable; and that only the most recent 400 ms of the pitch trajectory are useful in incipient speech activity prediction.
Anthology ID:
W19-5934
Volume:
Proceedings of the 20th Annual SIGdial Meeting on Discourse and Dialogue
Month:
September
Year:
2019
Address:
Stockholm, Sweden
Venues:
SIGDIAL | WS
SIG:
SIGDIAL
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
284–292
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/W19-5934
DOI:
10.18653/v1/W19-5934
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Kornel Laskowski, Marcin Wlodarczak, and Mattias Heldner. 2019. A Scalable Method for Quantifying the Role of Pitch in Conversational Turn-Taking. In Proceedings of the 20th Annual SIGdial Meeting on Discourse and Dialogue, pages 284–292, Stockholm, Sweden. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
A Scalable Method for Quantifying the Role of Pitch in Conversational Turn-Taking (Laskowski et al., 2019)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/W19-5934.pdf