Linguistic Adaptation in Semi-natural Dialogues: Age Comparison
Speaker adaptation in dialogues appears to support not only dialogue coordination, but also language processing, learning and in/out-group manifestation. Presumably, speakers in various stages of their language development might exploit different functions and types of adaptation, but conclusive research in this area has so far been lacking. In the present study, we compare structural, lexical and prosodic adaptation in a semi-natural dialogue across two age groups, in adult-child and adult-adult dyads. The results of our experiments indicate that children take over the structural and lexical forms used by their dialogue partner more frequently than adults. Children also adapt to the pitch of the speaker they interact with more than adult participants. Irrespective of age, we found longer onset latencies following the experimenter’s question if the question had a non-canonical (declarative) form compared to a question with a canonical (interrogative) form. This can be seen as a manifestation of a processing advantage typically associated with the long-term effects of adaptation-as-learning.
Keywordsadaptation alignment entrainment prosody boost effects
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