Pardon the Interruption: Automatic Analysis of Gender and Competitive Turn-Taking in United States Supreme Court Hearings

WS 2019  ·  Haley Lepp ·

The United States Supreme Court plays a key role in defining the legal basis for gender discrimination throughout the country, yet there are few checks on gender bias within the court itself. In conversational turn-taking, interruptions have been documented as a marker of bias between speakers of different genders... The goal of this study is to automatically differentiate between respectful and disrespectful conversational turns taken during official hearings, which could help in detecting bias and finding remediation techniques for discourse in the courtroom. In this paper, I present a corpus of turns annotated by legal professionals, and describe the design of a semi-supervised classifier that will use acoustic and lexical features to analyze turn-taking at scale. On completion of annotations, this classifier will be trained to extract the likelihood that turns are respectful or disrespectful for use in studies of speech trends. read more

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