cSCAN Rounds

Introducing objects in spoken dialogue: The influence of conversational setting and cognitive load on the articulation and use of referring expressions

In this talk I will report the findings of a study to investigate the influence of conversational setting and cognitive load (as implemented by time pressure) on the introduction of new information in 2-party spontaneous dialogues. In this study, it was found that for a collaborative problem-solving task, the Map Task, cognitive load and conversational setting influenced the way interlocutors collaborated with one another when introducing objects into a discourse. Interlocutors used fewer question-form introductions followed by an informative response in a video-mediated conversational setting (compared with a face-to-face setting), and under time pressure (compared with no pressure of time). In contrast, speakers tended to articulate words referring to the same object more quickly on repetition irrespective of the conversational setting or the cognitive load associated with the task. The findings of this study are interpreted in terms of a dual process account of speech production (Bard, Anderson, Sotillo, Aylett, Doherty-Sneddon and Newlands 2000).