The effect of contour type and epistemic modality on the assessment of speaker certainty

Agustín Gravano, Stefan Benus, Julia Hirschberg, Elisa Sneed German, Gregory Ward

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

In an empirical study participants were asked to rate the perceived degree of certainty of utterances that contained either the modal would or main verb be (e.g. That would be me vs. That's me), and which were also variously produced with one of three intonational contours (downstepped, declarative, and yes-no-question). We found that both downstepped contour and epistemic would made a significant and independent contribution to the assessment of speaker certainty. That is, participants rated utterances with the downstepped contour as most certain, followed by those with the declarative contour, while the yes-no-question contour was perceived as highly uncertain. Similarly, participants rated speakers' responses with epistemic would as significantly more certain than those without it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 4th International Conference on Speech Prosody, SP 2008
PublisherInternational Speech Communications Association
Pages401-404
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9780616220030
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Event4th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2008, SP 2008 - Campinas, Brazil
Duration: May 6 2008May 9 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 4th International Conference on Speech Prosody, SP 2008

Other

Other4th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2008, SP 2008
CountryBrazil
CityCampinas
Period5/6/085/9/08

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software
  • Mechanical Engineering

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    Gravano, A., Benus, S., Hirschberg, J., German, E. S., & Ward, G. (2008). The effect of contour type and epistemic modality on the assessment of speaker certainty. In Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Speech Prosody, SP 2008 (pp. 401-404). (Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Speech Prosody, SP 2008). International Speech Communications Association.