Game Theoretic Models of Clear versus Plain Speech

AbstractClear speech is a vocal style used when a speaker wishes to improve comprehension, usually due to the presence of external noise, less-than-optimal listening conditions, or when they are simply instructed to speak clearly. Clear speech has many distinguishing features, including increased duration, pitch, and amplitude, as well as the exaggeration of articulatory movement. We use game theory to model the phenomenon of clear speech, and make predictions of how it changes under different circumstances. We view the behaviours of speakers and hearers when communicating as optimal strategies in communication games. When comprehension becomes more difficult, the optimal strategies of the games shift so that speakers exert more energy to improve the likelihood of accurate communication. We discuss how our models correspond to experimental observations and see what predictions are made for future experiments.

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