Changes in linguistic behaviors based on smart speaker task performance and pragmatic skills in multiple turn-taking interactions

Chaewon Park, Yoonseob Lim, Jongsuk Choi, Jee Eun Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In the current study, we conducted a Wizard-of-Oz experiment using a smart speaker to investigate how smart speakers’ task performance (success vs. failure) and pragmatic levels (high vs. low) alter users’ linguistic behaviors during multiple turn-taking conversations. The linguistic behaviors analyzed in this study included the mean length of utterance, give-up and topic development frequency. Furthermore, we examined what kinds of pragmatic skills smart speakers need to sustain multiple turn-taking interactions. The results suggest that smart speakers’ performance levels and pragmatic skills have different effects on linguistic behaviors. Task performance and the pragmatic levels of smart speaker did not change participants’ utterance lengths. Giving up on conversations when tasks were not successfully completed occurred more frequently with smart speakers with low pragmatic capabilities. Topic development occurred more frequently when people interacted with smart speakers with high pragmatic capabilities or when tasks were accomplished. The notable requisite pragmatic skills for smart speakers included the abilities to specify and describe information, react to indirect behavior, and appreciate humor/ironic humor. The findings of this study may have implications for designing dialogue for artificial conversational agents in various conversational settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-372
Number of pages16
JournalIntelligent Service Robotics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Technology Innovation Program (10077553, Development of Social Robot Intelligence for Social Human-Robot Interaction of Service Robots) funded By the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Korea). We also thank Prof. Youngtae Kim and Sojung Oh who allowed us to use CPLC pragmatic evaluation kit. We thank Sukyung Seok whose comments helped to improve this manuscript. We thank Jihee Jung, Ye Yeong Jang, Eun Hye Kim, and Sojeong Baik for evaluating scripts

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Conversational agent
  • Linguistic behaviors
  • Multiple turn-takings
  • Pragmatics
  • Task performance


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