Studying Language Attitudes Using Robots

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Research on language attitudes concerns the identification of the beliefs people hold towards speakers of a particular variety (for instance, a dialect) or towards speakers with a foreign accent. While researchers have been very creative in finding methods for determining speaker attitudes towards their own and others' linguistic productions, robots provide an excellent methodological tool to study language attitudes. We illustrate this methodology on the perception of transfer of speech melody from one's mother tongue to a second language. Our results show effects of such transfer on the perception of the respective speaker; for instance, Danish speakers may be perceived as dominant when transferring their intonation contours to German, whereas Germans may appear formal when transferring their speech melody into Danish.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHRI '20: Companion of the 2020 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication dateMar 2020
ISBN (Print)9781450370578
ISBN (Electronic)9781450370578
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
EventInternational Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Cambridge, UK - Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 23. Mar 202026. Mar 2020


ConferenceInternational Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Cambridge, UK
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • human-robot interaction, methodology, language attitude
  • Intonation
  • Accent
  • Dialect
  • Linguistic varieties
  • Robots as methodological tools


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