Turn-taking workshop

Turn-taking in conversation: a multi-disciplinary approach 

Date:  9 July 2014, 9:30–15:00
VenueHumanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield 

Dr Gareth Walker, English Language and Linguistics, University of Sheffield
Prof Thomas Hain, Computer Science, University of Sheffield

Workshop par­ti­cipants came from a wide range of aca­dem­ic back­grounds and departments.

Workshop sum­mary:
As the most nat­ur­al way of inter­act­ing, con­ver­sa­tion is at the core of all our daily encoun­ters. Turn-taking is the mech­an­ism that reg­u­lates con­ver­sa­tion, and as such, it is import­ant with­in cog­nit­ive research and in a vast array of oth­er dis­cip­lines. As a basic social action, turn-taking is of great interest to social sci­ent­ists. Psycholinguists invest­ig­ate our capa­city to mon­it­or talk as it evolves in real time, and pre­dict when a speak­er will come to the end of a turn. Interactional lin­guists study how lan­guage is used as a tool for tak­ing turns in con­ver­sa­tion. Such research has diverse applic­a­tions, includ­ing two that are the par­tic­u­lar focus of cur­rent work at Sheffield, in health­care prac­tice and in com­pu­ta­tion­al speech processing.

This work­shop aims to dis­cuss recent per­spect­ives on turn-taking in con­ver­sa­tion and its applic­a­tions. We invite par­ti­cip­a­tion from those inter­ested in con­ver­sa­tion research across all dis­cip­lines. The emphas­is of the work­shop is on dis­cus­sion and the exchange of research exper­i­ence between par­ti­cipants. Two invited talks will lead into a group exer­cise in ana­lys­is of real con­ver­sa­tion­al data, and we will con­clude with a pan­el dis­cus­sion. In this way we aim to share research prac­tices from dif­fer­ent dis­cip­lin­ary per­spect­ives in view of dis­cov­er­ing poten­tial col­lab­or­at­ive research opportunities.

Workshop organ­izers:
Emina Kurtic, Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield
Amy Beeston, Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield
The iCog com­mit­tee acknow­ledges the gen­er­ous sup­port of the Faculty of Science of the University of Sheffield.