|dc.description.abstract||Focus is central to our control of information flow in dialogue.
Spoken language understanding systems therefore need to be
able to detect focus automatically. It is well known that prominence
is a key marker of focus in English, however, the relationship
is not straight-forward. We present focus prediction models
built using the NXT Switchboard corpus. We claim that a focus
is more likely if a word is more prominent than expected given
its syntactic, semantic and discourse properties. Crucially, the
perception of prominence arises not only from acoustic cues,
but also the position in prosodic structure. Our focus prediction
results, along with a study showing the acoustic properties
of focal accents vary by structural position, support our claims.
As a largely novel task, these results are an important first step
in detecting focus for spoken language applications.||en