Connie de Vos (Tilburg): Sensitivity to language-specific and globally-accessible cues in conversational turn prediction
Speaker: Connie de Vos (Tilburg)
Title: Sensitivity to language-specific and globally-accessible cues in conversational turn prediction
Location: Online, via Zoom
On Friday 16 October, Connie de Vos (Tilburg Center for Cognition and Communication, Tilburg University) will present her work on sensitivity to language-specific and globally-accessible cues in conversational turn prediction.
Precision turn-taking may constitute a crucial part of the human endowment for communication. If so, it should be implemented similarly across language modalities, as in signed vs. spoken language. Here in the first experimental study of turn-end prediction in sign language, we find support for the idea that signed language, like spoken language, involves turn-type prediction and turn-end anticipation. In both cases, turns eliciting specific responses like questions accelerate anticipation. We also show remarkable cross-modality predictive capacity: non-signers anticipate sign turn-ends surprisingly well. Finally, we show that despite non-signers’ ability to intuitively predict signed turn-ends, early native signers do it much better, using their access to linguistic signals (here, question markers). As shown in prior work, question formation facilitates prediction, and age of sign language acquisition affects accuracy. The study thus sheds light on the kinds of features that may facilitate turn-taking universally, and those that are language-specific.