A Multimodal Analysis of Vocal and Visual Backchannels in Spontaneous Dialogs

Khiet Phuong Truong, Ronald Walter Poppe, I.A. de Kok, Dirk K.J. Heylen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)
    49 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Backchannels (BCs) are short vocal and visual listener responses that signal attention, interest, and understanding to the speaker. Previous studies have investigated BC prediction in telephone-style dialogs from prosodic cues. In contrast, we consider spontaneous face-to-face dialogs. The additional visual modality allows speaker and listener to monitor each other's attention continuously, and we hypothesize that this affects the BC-inviting cues. In this study, we investigate how gaze, in addition to prosody, can cue BCs. Moreover, we focus on the type of BC performed, with the aim to find out whether vocal and visual BCs are invited by similar cues. In contrast to telephone-style dialogs, we do not find rising/falling pitch to be a BC-inviting cue. However, in a face-to-face setting, gaze appears to cue BCs. In addition, we find that mutual gaze occurs significantly more often during visual BCs. Moreover, vocal BCs are more likely to be timed during pauses in the speaker's speech.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of Interspeech 2011
    Place of PublicationFrance
    PublisherInternational Speech Communication Association (ISCA)
    Pages2973-2976
    Number of pages4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
    Event12th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH 2011 - Florence, Italy
    Duration: 28 Aug 201131 Aug 2011
    Conference number: 12

    Publication series

    Name
    PublisherInternational Speech Communication Association
    ISSN (Print)1990-9772

    Conference

    Conference12th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH 2011
    Abbreviated titleINTERSPEECH
    CountryItaly
    CityFlorence
    Period28/08/1131/08/11

    Keywords

    • METIS-279669
    • IR-78349
    • EWI-20721
    • EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP7/231287

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  • Cite this

    Truong, K. P., Poppe, R. W., de Kok, I. A., & Heylen, D. K. J. (2011). A Multimodal Analysis of Vocal and Visual Backchannels in Spontaneous Dialogs. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2011 (pp. 2973-2976). France: International Speech Communication Association (ISCA).