Presentations (Communicative Events)

Entrainment in Speech Preceding Backchannels

Levitan, Rivka; Gravano, Agustin; Hirschberg, Julia Bell

In conversation, when speech is followed by a backchannel, evidence of continued engagement by one’s dialogue partner, that speech displays a combination of cues that appear to signal to one’s interlocutor that a backchannel is appropriate. We term these cues backchannel- preceding cues (BPC)s, and examine the Columbia Games Corpus for evidence of entrainment on such cues. Entrainment, the phenomenon of dialogue partners becoming more similar to each other, is widely believed to be crucial to conversation quality and success. Our results show that speaking partners entrain on BPCs; that is, they tend to use similar sets of BPCs; this similarity increases over the course of a dialogue; and this similarity is associated with measures of dialogue coordination and task success.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Computer Science
Proceedings of ACL/HLT 2011
Published Here
August 2, 2013