Timing of turn taking between normal-hearing and hearing-impaired interlocutors


  • Anna Josefine Munch Sørensen Department of Health Technology, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), DK- 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8148-5692
  • Ewen N MacDonald Department of Health Technology, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), DK- 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6973-2926
  • Thomas Lunner Department of Health Technology, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), DK- 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark; Eriksholm Research Centre, Oticon A/S, DK-3070 Snekkersten, Denmark


conversational dynamics, floor-transfer offset, hearing-impaired, normal-hearing adaptation, speaking levels, speaking rates, inter-pausal units, overlapping talk, turn-taking, interlocutors


Having a conversation requires more resources than just understanding speech. Previous studies of the timing of turn taking in conversations suggest that in order to sustain normal, fluid turn taking, interlocutors have to predict the end of each other’s turns. Thus, while noise and hearing loss should make understanding speech more difficult, it should also reduce the resources available for speech planning and possibly reduce the saliency of cues used to predict turn ends, resulting in delayed and more variable turn taking. We recorded conversations between 12 pairs of native-Danish young normal-hearing (NH) and older hearing-impaired (HI) listeners with mild presbyacusis in quiet and multitalker babble at three levels. The interlocutors conducted a Diapix task, finding differences in two near-identical pictures. Both HI and NH talkers responded more slowly and with more variability with increasing noise level, and the HI with more variability than the NH. We saw indications that the younger NH adopted a more careful communication strategy, likely to ease the effort on their older HI interlocutor, by adapting their speech rates to their interlocutor and overlapping less.


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How to Cite

Sørensen, A. J. M., MacDonald, E. N., & Lunner, T. (2020). Timing of turn taking between normal-hearing and hearing-impaired interlocutors. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Auditory and Audiological Research, 7, 37–44. Retrieved from https://proceedings.isaar.eu/index.php/isaarproc/article/view/2019-05



2019/2. Learning from natural sounds