A unifying framework for modeling acoustic/prosodic entrainment: definition and evaluation on two large corpora

Acoustic/prosodic (a/p) entrainment has been associated with multiple positive social aspects of human-human conversations. However, research on its effects is still preliminary, first because how to model it is far from standardized, and second because most of the reported findings rely on small corpora or on corpora collected in experimental setups. The present article has a twofold purpose: 1) it proposes a unifying statistical framework for modeling a/p entrainment, and 2) it tests on two large corpora of spontaneous telephone interactions whether three metrics derived from this framework predict positive social aspects of the conversations. The corpora differ in their spoken language, domain, and positive social outcome attached. To our knowledge, this is the first article studying relations between a/p entrainment and positive social outcomes in such large corpora of spontaneous dialog. Our results suggest that our metrics effectively predict, up to some extent, positive social aspects of conversations, which not only validates the methodology, but also provides further insights into the elusive topic of entrainment in human-human conversation.

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