When miscommunications occur in conversation, participants have access to both speech- and language-based cues to clarify the miscommunicated talk. This article investigates what changes occur in prosodic speech patterns between initial and repeated talk in a brief free and unstructured conversation between an adult bilateral cochlear implantee and his chosen familiar communication partner, his wife, conducted in a clinical setting. The 23-minute conversation between the two participants included 37 self-repetitions of one or more words by the familiar communication partner. Most instances were repetition-as-repair sequences. Each of the 37 instances was subjected to acoustic analysis to identify frequency, loudness, and duration of word tokens in both the initial and repeated talk as well as pause length between tokens. Data suggest that loudness, pitch, and duration are commonly all increased in the prominent words repeated by the communication partner by contrast with the initial utterance. Repeated sequences included more pauses, but not longer ones, than the initial utterances. Prosodic patterns of repetition were influenced by the turn(s) preceding the repeated talk and the co-occurrence of prosodic and lexical elements in the repair/repetition turn. The success of the repeated talk in resolving miscommunications for this dyad suggests that prosodic speech cues in conjunction with lexical cues are effective repair strategies.
- Conversation repair
- Hearing impairment