Prosodic cues to agreement and disagreement prefaces in Austrian German conversations

Anneliese Kelterer*, Saskia Wepner, Sophie Christian, Barbara Schuppler, Dina El Zarka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


While the expression of speaker alignment has been of interest in Conversation Analysis for decades, the prosody of (dis)agreement has so far only received little attention. This is the first investigation of the timing of agreement and disagreement turns in conversational Austrian German and the prosody of prefaces to these turns. To assess the timing and prosody, we extracted the duration of the pause before the (dis)agreeing turn, the duration of the preface, examined its F0 shape and performed linear and logistic regression analyses to estimate the relationship of these features with (dis)agreement. We find that agreement prefaces tend to be short and uttered after a short pause. Prefaces to straightforward disagreements are also produced after a short pause but tend to be long. Prefaces to a sub-category of disagreeing turns (“yes you’re right, but…”) tend to be long and uttered after a long pause. Various F0 shapes occur in all three types of prefaces, but there is a robust relationship between dip-rises and prefaces to straightforward disagreements. While the timing patterns are in line with previous findings in the literature on speaker alignment, we did not find unique F0 patterns for agreement or disagreement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 1st International Conference on Tone and Intonation
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event1st International Conference on Tone and Intonation: TAI 2021 - Hybrider Event, Denmark
Duration: 6 Dec 20219 Dec 2021


Conference1st International Conference on Tone and Intonation
Abbreviated titleTAI 2021
CityHybrider Event
OtherSpecial Session on "Prosody-oriented studies of social communicative speech in a digitized world"
Internet address

Cite this