Journal article

Speech rates converge in scripted turn-taking conversations

Benjamin G Schultz, Irena O'Brien, Natalie Phillips, David H Mcfarland, Debra Titone, Caroline Palmer



When speakers engage in conversation, acoustic features of their utterances sometimes converge. We examined how the speech rate of participants changed when a confederate spoke at fast or slow rates during readings of scripted dialogues. A beat-tracking algorithm extracted the periodic relations between stressed syllables (beats) from acoustic recordings. The mean interbeat interval (IBI) between successive stressed syllables was compared across speech rates. Participants' IBIs were smaller in the fast condition than in the slow condition; the difference between participants' and the confederate's IBIs decreased across utterances. Cross-correlational analyses demonstrated mutual influences b..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by NSERC

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Canada Research Chairs awards (to D.T. and C.P.), CRBLM New Initiative Funding (to N.P., D.H.M., D.T., and C.P.), NSERC Grant 261769 (to D.T.), and NSERC Grant 298173 (to C.P.). The authors gratefully acknowledge Fran Spidle, Anna Jamrozic, and Lisa Jewett for assistance with data collection and analysis; the reviewers for their comments and suggestions; and Dan Ellis for technical details on the beat-tracking algorithm.