In spoken language analysis, an utterance is the smallest unit of speech. It is a continuous piece of speech beginning and ending with a clear pause. In the case of oral languages, it is generally, but not always, bounded by silence.
Utterances in the context of a voice assistant are short commands that the VA then can match against patterns to recognize the intent of the user.
- “Hey Google”: wakes up the device and makes it ready for a comman
- “Set a timer for 3 minutes”: does what it says. The voice assistant reads three important parameters from this utterance. The action is to set a timer. The length is three and the unit is minute.