17 ways to say yes: Toward nuanced tone of voice in AAC and speech technology

Graham Pullin, Shannon Hennig

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    20 Citations (Scopus)
    266 Downloads (Pure)


    People with complex communication needs who use speech-generating devices have very little expressive control over their tone of voice. Despite its importance in human interaction, the issue of tone of voice remains all but absent from AAC research and development however. In this paper, we describe three interdisciplinary projects, past, present and future: The critical design collection Six Speaking Chairs has provoked deeper discussion and inspired a social model of tone of voice; the speculative concept Speech Hedge illustrates challenges and opportunities in designing more expressive user interfaces; the pilot project Tonetable could enable participatory research and seed a research network around tone of voice. We speculate that more radical interactions might expand frontiers of AAC and disrupt speech technology as a whole.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)170-180
    Number of pages11
    JournalAugmentative and Alternative Communication
    Issue number2
    Early online date21 May 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • expressiveness
    • intonation
    • speech generating devices
    • interaction design
    • participatory design


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