Where in Dialog Space does uh-huh Occur?

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Feedback Behaviors in Dialog, 2012.

Nigel G. Ward, David G. Novick, Alejandro Vega

Abstract: In what dialog situations and contexts do backchannels commonly occur? This paper examines this question using a newly developed notion of dialog space, defined by orthogonal, prosody-derived dimensions. Taking 3363 instances of uh-huh, found in the Switchboard corpus, we examine where in this space they tend to occur. While the results largely agree with previous descriptions and observations, we find several novel aspects, relating to rhythm, polarity, and the details of the low-pitch cue.


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