Possible Lexical Cues for Backchannel Responses

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Feedback Behaviors in Dialog, 2012.

Nigel G. Ward

Abstract: Looking for words that might cue backchannel feedback, I did a statistical analysis of the interlocutors' words preceding 3363 instances of uh-huh in the Switchboard corpus. Some interesting tendencies were found, including the existence of semantic classes that slightly increase the likelihood of uh-huh, the fact that different classes have their effects at different time lags, and the existence of words which strongly counter-indicate a subsequent uh-huh. However, the words found are at best very weak cues, compared to prosodic and gaze features.

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