Shriberg E, Bates R, Stolcke A, Taylor P, Jurafsky D, Ries K, Coccaro N, Martin R, Meteer M, van Ess-Dykema C. Can prosody aid the automatic classification of dialog acts in conversational speech? Lang Speech. 1998 Jul-Dec;41 ( Pt 3-4):443-92. doi: 10.1177/002383099804100410. PMID: 10746366.
Identifying whether an utterance is a statement, question, greeting, and so forth is integral to effective automatic understanding of natural dialog. Little is known, however, about how such dialog acts (DAs) can be automatically classified in truly natural conversation. This study asks whether current approaches, which use mainly word information, could be improved by adding prosodic information. The study is based on more than 1000 conversations from the Switchboard corpus. DAs were hand-annotated, and prosodic features (duration, pause, F0, energy, and speaking rate) were automatically extracted for each DA. In training, decision trees based on these features were inferred; trees were then applied to unseen test data to evaluate performance. […]