Prosodic predictors of discourse finality in spontaneous monologues

M.G.J. Swerts, R.P.G. Collier, J.M.B. Terken

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    Abstract

    This article reports on a study of the capacity of prosody to predict upcoming discourse boundaries. More specifically, it is investigated whether the approaching end of a route description can be pre-signalled by melodic and temporal characteristics. Experiment 1 brings to light that listeners are able to estimate on the basis of such prosodic properties how far a given utterance is situated from the end of a description. However, the scope of this prosodic prediction is relatively restricted as listeners can only estimate the absolute discourse position of the last two utterances of the monologue analyzed. Experiment 2 is run in order to explore systematically, by means of a test with synthetic speech, to what extent melodic and durational properties are sufficient to influence finality judgments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)79-90
    JournalSpeech Communication
    Volume15
    Issue number1-2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1994

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