Bilingual Acoustic Voice Variation is Similarly Structured Across Languages

Khia A. Johnson, Molly Babel, Robert A. Fuhrman


When a bilingual switches languages, do they switch their “voice”? Using a new conversational corpus of speech from early Cantonese-English bilinguals (N = 34), this paper examines the talker-specific acoustic signature of bilingual voices. Following prior work in voice quality variation, 24 filter and source-based acoustic measurements are estimated. The analysis summarizes mean differences for these dimensions, in addition to identifying the underlying structure of each talker’s voice across languages with principal components analyses. Canonical redundancy analyses demonstrate that while talkers vary in the degree to which they have the same “voice” across languages, all talkers show strong similarity with themselves.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2020-3095

Cite as: Johnson, K.A., Babel, M., Fuhrman, R.A. (2020) Bilingual Acoustic Voice Variation is Similarly Structured Across Languages. Proc. Interspeech 2020, 2387-2391, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2020-3095.


@inproceedings{Johnson2020,
  author={Khia A. Johnson and Molly Babel and Robert A. Fuhrman},
  title={{Bilingual Acoustic Voice Variation is Similarly Structured Across Languages}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2020},
  pages={2387--2391},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2020-3095},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2020-3095}
}