Visualization to Support the Discovery of Prosodic Contours Related to Turn-Taking

Technical Report UTEP-CS-10-24

Nigel G. Ward, Joshua L. McCartney
Department of Computer Science, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract: Some meaningful prosodic patterns can be usefully represented with pitch contours, however the development of such descriptions is a labor-intensive process. To assist in the discovery of contours, visualization tools may be helpful. Edlund et al. (2009) presented the idea of superimposing hundreds of pitch curves from a corpus as a way to see the overall patterns. In this paper we refine and extend this method and illustrate its utility in the discovery of a prosodic cue to back-channels in Chinese. We also discuss issues in relating a contour-based description to one in terms of a conjunction of featues, and illustrate this with a prosodic cue to back-channels in Spanish.

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