Tid och plats:

Onsdagen 10 november 15-17 i sal C307


Humans speak in specific ways depending on the nature of the audience. For example compared to adult-directed speech, Infant-Directed Speech has heightened pitch characteristics, heightened positive affect, and hyperarticulated vowels. Here the results of studies of Infant-Directed Speech (InfantDS), PetDS, ForeignerDS, HearingImpairedDS and ComputerDS are presented. The results will lead to the discussion of three issues. First, there are separable independent components of conversational speech: attentional, expressed via pitch characteristics of the voice; affective, expressed via rated emotion in the voice; and linguistic, expressed via didactic devices such as vowel hyperarticulation. Second, humans are particularly good at perceiving and acting upon, even unconsciously, these separable voice components. Third, humans are particularly good at perceiving the abilities and needs of their audience and responding to these by producing speech with differential weighting, even unconsciously, of the attentional, affective and linguistic components of their speech. The nature of special speech registers and the ways that humans use these will be discussed in terms of what makes a human conversation a meeting of minds; the relationship between language and thought; the nature of ComputerDS and what makes human conversations difficult to be replicated by embodied conversational agents.

Denis Burnham

is Professor of Psychology and the director of MARCS Auditory Laboratories at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. MARCS is a vibrant research centre for pure and applied research on auditory perception and cognition fostering national, international academic and industry collaboration. The lab's particular research focus lies on speech, music, human communication and movement as well as on the specific aspects of hearing impairment, gesture, dance, and motion. MARCS laboratories consist of the subdivisions Babylab, Behaviour Lab, Human-Machine Interaction Lab, Movement & Performance Lab, and Brain & Psychophysiology Lab.