Quantifying the perceptual value of lexical and non-lexical channels in speech

Sarenne Wallbridge*, Peter Bell, Catherine Lai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

Speech is a fundamental means of communication that can be seen to provide two channels for transmitting information: the lexical channel of \textit{which} words are said, and the non-lexical channel of \textit{how} they are spoken.
Both channels shape listener expectations of upcoming communication; however, directly quantifying their relative effect on expectations is challenging. Previous attempts require spoken variations of lexically-equivalent dialogue turns or conspicuous acoustic manipulations. This paper introduces a generalised paradigm to study the value of non-lexical information in dialogue across unconstrained lexical content.By quantifying the perceptual value of the non-lexical channel with both accuracy and entropy reduction, we show that non-lexical information produces a consistent effect on expectations of upcoming dialogue: even when it leads to poorer discriminative turn judgements than lexical content alone, it yields higher consensus among participants.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProc. INTERSPEECH 2023
PublisherInternational Speech Communication Association
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2023
EventInterspeech 2023 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 20 Aug 202324 Aug 2023
Conference number: 24

Publication series

ISSN (Electronic)1990-9772


ConferenceInterspeech 2023
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • spoken language
  • speech perception
  • prosody
  • discourse structure


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