Amplitude convergence in children's conversational speech with animated personas

Rachel Coulston, Sharon Oviatt, Courtney Darves

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

62 Citations (Scopus)


During interpersonal conversation, both children and adults adapt the basic acoustic-prosodic features of their speech to converge with those of their conversational partner. In this study, 7-to-10-year-old children interacted with a conversational interface in which animated characters used text-to-speech output (TTS) to answer questions about marine biology. Analysis of children's speech to different animated characters revealed a 29% average change in energy when they spoke to an extroverted loud software partner (E), compared with an introverted soft-spoken one (I). The majority, or 77% of children, adapted their amplitude toward their partner's TTS voice. These adaptations were bi-directional, with increases in amplitude observed during I to E condition shifts, and decreases during E to I shifts. Finally, these results generalized across different user groups and TTS voices. Implications are discussed for guiding children's speech to remain within system processing bounds, and for the future development of robust and adaptive conversational interfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication7th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing, ICSLP 2002
Subtitle of host publicationDenver; United States; 16 September 2002 through 20 September 2002
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
Event7th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing, ICSLP 2002 - Denver, United States of America
Duration: 16 Sept 200220 Sept 2002


Conference7th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing, ICSLP 2002
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America

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