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Conversational adjustments in interaction (Pham & Viswanathan, 2024)

Version 2 2024-01-12, 23:35
Version 1 2023-12-15, 15:12
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posted on 2024-01-12, 23:35 authored by Catherine T. Pham, Navin Viswanathan

Purpose: We examined which measures of complexity are most informative when studying language produced in interaction. Specifically, using these measures, we explored whether native and nonnative speakers modified the higher level properties of their production beyond the acoustic–phonetic level based on the language background of their conversation partner.

Method: Using a subset of production data from the Wildcat Corpus that used Diapix, an interactive picture matching task, to elicit production, we compared English language production at the dyad and individual level across three different pair types: eight native pairs (English–English), eight mixed pairs (four English–Chinese and four English–Korean), and eight nonnative pairs (four Chinese–Chinese and four Korean–Korean).

Results: At both the dyad and individual levels, native speakers produced longer and more clausally dense speech. They also produced fewer silent pauses and fewer linguistic mazes relative to nonnative speakers. Speakers did not modify their production based on the language background of their interlocutor.

Conclusions: The current study examines higher level properties of language production in true interaction. Our results suggest that speakers’ productions were determined by their own language background and were independent of that of their interlocutor. Furthermore, these demonstrated promise for capturing syntactic characteristics of language produced in true dialogue.

Supplemental Material S1. Transcription guidelines.

Supplemental Material S2. Transcription sample (Levels 1–3).

Supplemental Material S3. Supplemental analyses (Levels 1–3).

Pham, C. T., & Viswanathan, N. (2024). Studying conversational adjustments in interaction: Beyond acoustic phonetic changes, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 67(1), 196–210.


This research was supported by National Science Foundation Grant B2-2126888, awarded to Navin Viswanathan.