ARI guest talk by Margaret Zellers

09. Oktober 2019


Seminar Room, Wohllebengasse 12-14 / Ground Floor

Investigating parallels between prosody and gesture: hand movements, pitch, and speech rate at turn ends in German and Swedish

Smooth turn-taking in conversation depends in part on speakers being able to communicate their intention to hold or cede the floor. Both prosodic (intonation, loudness, speech rate) and gestural cues have been shown to be used in this context. I will discuss corpus and annotation issues relevant to study gesture and prosody in the context of turn-taking. I will then report on research investigating the interplay of pitch movements, speech rate, and hand gestures at locations at which speaker change becomes relevant, comparing their use in German and Swedish. There are some shared functions of prosody and gesture with regard to turn-taking in the two languages, but these shared functions appear to be mediated by the different phonological demands on pitch in the two languages.