ISCA Tutorial and Research Workshop on Experimental Linguistics (ExLing 2008)

Athens, Greece
August 25-27, 2008

Vocal Stereotypes

Melanie Weirich

Centre for General Linguistics (ZAS), Berlin, Germany

German speakers receive different ratings in their perceived vocal attractiveness and personality characteristics. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the perceived personality attributions of 32 German listeners and find acoustic cues that correlate to these attributions. The attributed opposition pairs on which the speakers were judged were reduced by a cluster analysis to two factors: dominance (e.g. "confident", "competent") and benevolence (e.g. "sensitive", "helpful"). The acoustic investigation of the voices of 4 male speakers revealed the impact of several acoustic parameters on the ratings. Among others, the harmonics-to-noise ratio (HNR) and breathy vocal onsets were most important for high ratings on benevolence. High ratings on dominance showed strong correlations to low mean F0 and strong glottal impulses.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Weirich, Melanie (2008): "Vocal stereotypes", In ExLing-2008, 229-232.