[PS-1.18] Effects of Cognitive Load on Speech Production: Prosody, Disfluencies and Turn-Taking

Christodoulides, G.

Centre Valibel, IL&C, Université catholique de Louvain

We present four studies on speech production under cognitive load. In the first study, participants took Stroop and Reading Span tests of increasing difficulty; speech and electroglottograph data was recorded and we focus on the segmental/phonetic features of speech (a replication of Yap, 2012 for French). The second study consisted of reading comprehension and question-answering tasks under increasing levels of cognitive load, producing short monologues. In the third study, we used a driving simulation dual-task environment, and pairs of subjects engaged in collaborative dialogue (similar to Demberg et al., 2013), listening to and memorising radio news, and working together to answer comprehension questions. The fourth study is an analysis of speech produced by conference interpreters, both in real-world and in controlled situations. All studies explored the effects of working memory load on speech production, and more specifically on prosody (pause duration and distribution, speech rate, intonation and pitch register), with a special focus on the production of disfluencies (filled pauses, drawls, false starts, repetitions, substitutions, insertions and deletions), as well as turn-taking behaviour (gaps and overlaps) in dialogue. This presentation is a synthesis of the aforementioned studies, seeking common effects of working memory load on speech production.