Measuring turn-taking offsets in human-human dialogues

Rebecca Lunsford, Peter A. Heeman, Emma Rennie

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper examines the pauses, gaps and overlaps associated with turn-taking in order to better understand how people engage in this activity, which should lead to more natural and effective spoken dialogue systems. This paper makes three advances in studying these durations. First, we take into account the type of turn-taking event, carefully treating interruptions, dual starts, and delayed backchannels, as these can make it appear that turn-taking is more disorderly than it really is. Second, we do not view turn-transitions in isolation, but consider turntransitions and turn-continuations together, as equal alternatives of what could have occurred. Third, we use the distributions of turn-transition and turn-continuation offsets (gaps, overlaps, and pauses) to shed light on the extent to which turn-taking is negotiated by the two conversants versus controlled by the current speaker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2895-2899
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH
StatePublished - 2016
Event17th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH 2016 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Sep 8 2016Sep 16 2016


  • Overlapping speech
  • Turn-fights
  • Turn-taking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Signal Processing
  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Measuring turn-taking offsets in human-human dialogues'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this