Speech Prosody 2014

Is breathing sensitive to the communication partner?

Amelie Rochet Capellan, Gerard Bailly and Susanne Fuchs
This paper investigates breathing profiles in eleven female speakers (subjects) when talking successively with the same two females (partners). Breathing kinematics of the two interlocutors was recorded synchronously by means of two Inductance Plethysmographs. In order to understand the implication of breathing in dialogue, we analyzed changes in breathing pauses according to the main dialogue events (listening, backchannels, turns start and turns continuation). Breathing and syllable rates were also compared among partners and subjects. The duration of inhalations and related pauses was reduced before a turn continuation in comparison to a turn start. The delay between speech offset in a breathing cycle and the onset of the next inhalation increased when a speaker and a listener swap roles as compared to a speaker who continued the turn. This was observed for both partners and subjects. The partners differed in their breathing and articulation rates but the two rates were not clearly correlated. In agreement with previous works, the current study shows that breathing kinematics is strongly linked to dialogue events. However, it doesn’t show any clear effect of partner on speaker’s breathing. This last result is discussed relative to methodological aspects.