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Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (BS)
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
This study examined the acoustic characteristics of conversational speech associated with entrainment, which is the tendency for communicative behaviors of individuals engaged in a given communication context to become alike (Borrie & Liss, 2014). The study adopted a within-speaker approach to evaluate changes in speech production characteristics relative to the given individual, defined as the repeated speaker. Across experiment sessions, the repeated speaker interacted with different communication partners, who were defined as the non-repeated speakers. In each session, the repeated speaker and one non-repeated speaker engaged in a series of tasks in the following order: conversation, interactive picture description task, card game, interactive picture description task, and conversation. The two conversation tasks, one at the beginning of the session when the speakers began to interact and the other at the end of the session after a period of interactions, were examined. The placement of the conversation tasks was meant to allow for the evaluation of conversational speech characteristics of the repeated speaker when entrainment with the communication partner was hypothesized to be minimal and after an opportunity for entrainment to occur. This study included one repeated speaker and two non-repeated speakers. The following three categories of measures were examined in this study: speech timing (rate, duration, and pauses), spectral information (vowel formant values and vowel space), and prosody, primarily fundamental frequency (F0) (mean F0, and F0 range). Results showed a difference in the repeated speaker’s speech timing measures, vowel space area, and F0 measures across the two conversation tasks in the interactions with both non-repeated speakers. In addition to the potential effects of entrainment, task effects and effects of familiarization were considered as well.
Molnar, Pamela, "Conversational Speech Characteristics During Entrainment" (2018). Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current. 586.