Mental Workload and Language Production in Non-Native Speaker IPA Interaction

Yunhan Wu, Justin Edwards, Orla Cooney, Anna Bleakley, Philip R. Doyle, Leigh Clark, Daniel Rough, Benjamin R. Cowan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


Through smartphones and smart speakers, intelligent personal assistants (IPAs) have made speech a common interaction modality. With linguistic coverage and varying functionality levels, many speakers engage with IPAs using a non-native language. This may impact mental workload and patterns of language production used by non-native speakers. We present a mixed-design experiment, where native (L1) and non-native (L2) English speakers completed tasks with IPAs via smartphones and smart speakers. We found significantly higher mental workload for L2 speakers in IPA interactions. Contrary to our hypotheses, we found no significant differences between L1 and L2 speakers in number of turns, lexical complexity, diversity, or lexical adaptation when encountering errors. These findings are discussed in relation to language production and processing load increases for L2 speakers in IPA interaction
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCUI '20
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2nd Conference on Conversational User Interfaces
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450375443
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


  • intelligent personal assistants
  • non-native language speakers
  • speech interface
  • voice user interface


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