4th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Philadelphia, PA, USA
October 3-6, 1996

Automatic Statistical Analysis of the Signal and Prosodic Signs of Emotion in Speech

Roddy Cowie, Ellen Douglas-Cowie

School of Psychology / School of English, The Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

We highlight two broader domains surrounding specific attributions of emotion and the specific features of speech that underlie them, and argue for caution over compartmentalising these broader domains. It seems to be a general rule that variations in what we call the augmented prosodic domain (APD) are emotive - perhaps because they signal departure from a reference point corresponding to a well-controlled, neutral state. Our studies show that various departures from that reference point are reflected in the APD, including central and sensory impairments (schizophrenia and deafness) as well as emotion. Intuitively it seems right to acknowledge that departures from well-controlled neutrality are highly confusable, and it is unclear that phonetics should to try draw those distinctions more sharply than listeners tend to. A system called ASSESS automatically measures properties in the APD, opening the way to explore it in an empirical spirit.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Cowie, Roddy / Douglas-Cowie, Ellen (1996): "Automatic statistical analysis of the signal and prosodic signs of emotion in speech", In ICSLP-1996, 1989-1992.