Do Speaker's emotions influence their language production? Studying the influence of disgust and amusement on alignment in interactive reference

Charlotte Out*, Martijn Goudbeek, Emiel Krahmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The influence of emotion on the early stages of spoken language production such as content selection has received little scholarly attention. During content selection in dialogue, speakers often take the utterances of their dialogue partners into account. For example, while speakers generally prefer to use color in their descriptions, they start to use dispreferred attributes such as orientation and size more when they are primed by a prerecorded partner using these dispreferred attributes (Goudbeek and Krahmer, 2012). The current study assessed the role of amusement and disgust in this process of conceptual alignment, while simultaneously replicating this earlier finding in a more realistic setting. Three types of alignment were analyzed: alignment of dispreferred properties (with or without additional properties), alignment of overspecified descriptions (both used by G&K), and alignment of dispreferred properties only. The results generalize the findings by Goudbeek and Krahmer (2012) to a more naturalistic dialogue setting: partners indeed align with each other's attributes in the choice of their referring expressions. The effects of emotion were generally limited, but disgusted speakers do tend to align more to the dispreferred attributes (e.g., size) used by their conversation partner than amused speakers. Our findings highlight the robustness of alignment in referring expressions produced in interactive settings, and suggest that emotional state can have an impact on this process.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101255
Number of pages13
JournalLanguage Sciences
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Emotion
  • Spoken language production
  • Conceptual alignment
  • Dialogue
  • Attribute selection

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