Classification of Functional-Meanings of Non-isolated Discourse Particles in Human-Human-Interaction

  • Alicia Flores LotzEmail author
  • Ingo Siegert
  • Andreas Wendemuth
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9731)


To enable a natural interaction with future technical systems, not only the meaning of the pure spoken text, but also meta-information such as attention or turn-taking has to be perceived and processed. This further information is effectively transmitted by semantic and prosodic cues, without interrupting the speaker. For the German language we rely on previous empirically discovered seven types of form-function-concurrences on the isolated discourse particle (DP) “hm”.

In this paper we present an improved automatic classification-method towards non-isolated DPs in human-human interaction (HHI). We show that classifiers trained on (HCI)-data can be used to robustly evaluate the contours of DPs in both HCI and HHI by performing a classifier adaptation to HHI data. We also discuss the problem of the pitch-contour extraction due to the unvoiced “hm”-utterances, leading to gaps and/or jumps in the signal and hence to confusions in form-type classifications. This can be alleviated by our investigation of contours with high extraction completion grade. We also show that for the acoustical evaluation of the functional-meaning, the idealized form-function prototypes by Schmidt are not suitable in case of naturalistic HHI. However, the precision of acoustical-meaning prediction with our classifier remains high.


Human-human interaction Human-computer interaction discourse particles Automatic form-function classification 



The work presented was done within the Transregional Collaborative Research Centre SFB/TRR 62 “Companion-Technology for Cognitive Technical Systems” ( funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alicia Flores Lotz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ingo Siegert
    • 1
  • Andreas Wendemuth
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Information and Communication Engineering, Cognitive Systems GroupOtto von Guericke UniversityMagdeburgGermany

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