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Monologic fluency is characterised by a lack of pauses and a smooth oral delivery. Dialogic fluency in L1-L1 unscripted speech, however, is characterized by seeming dis-fluency, hesitations, false starts etc. Yet the L1 speakers make perfect sense to each other. The Dynamic Speech Corpus (DSC) currently being developed under the FLUENT project at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). In dialogue, language represents only one of the communication channels at play in what is a dynamic, unscripted social interchange rather than a stand-alone linguistic performance. The language stream is supplemented by pragmatic considerations and a greater emphasis on prosody. DIT’s DSC is based on natural, native-to-native dialogues and recorded at a high level of audio quality and is being developed mainly for autonomous learners. It will afford access to a unique audio resource based on unscripted dialogues between friends and acquaintances, exemplifying informal, native-speaker speech and natural turn-taking, rather than scripted interactions. The presentation demonstrates how users can locate and study samples of L1-to-L1 speech, as well as various phonetic phenomena such as speed-induced elisions in their full, pragmatic, dialogic context. This will allow the learner user to focus on the manner in which native speakers produce reduced forms and slow them down for detailed study. The corpus will be a rich resource for users who wish to study the communicative value of prosody and formulaic sequences, and particular attention will be paid to turn-taking strategies, along with other forms of interaction, which some researchers see as a ‘fifth skill’.
Campbell, D., Meinardi, M., Richardson, B, Wang, Y., McDonnell, C.: DIT’s Dynamic Speech Corpus and Dialogic Fluency.EuroCALL 2009, Gandia, Spain. September, 2009.