4th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Philadelphia, PA, USA
October 3-6, 1996

About the Relationship Between Eyebrow Movements and F0 Variations

Christian Cavé (1), Isabelle Guaïtella (1), Roxane Bertrand (1), Serge Santi (2), Françoise Harlay (3), Robert Espesser (1)

(1) Laboratoire "Parole et Langage", Université de Provence, Aix-en-Provence, France
(2) Laboratoire de Phonétique, Université de Franche-Comté, Besançon, France
(3) Laboratoire de Neurobiologie Fonctionnelle, Université de Provence, Marseille, France

Speech production is always accompanied by facial and gestural activity. The present study is part of a broader research project on how head movements and facial expressions are related to voice variations in different speech situations. Ten normal subjects were recorded while reading aloud, answering yes/no questions, and dialoguing with an interviewer. Rapid rising-falling eyebrow movements produced by the subjects as they spoke were associated with F0 rises in only 71% of the cases. This suggests that eyebrow movements and fundamental frequency changes are not automatically linked (i.e., they are not the result of muscular synergy), but are more a consequence of linguistic and communicational choices. Note also that 38% of the eyebrow movements were produced while the subject was not speaking. Thus, eyebrow movements may also serve as back-channel signals or play a role in turn-taking during conversation.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Cavé, Christian / Guaïtella, Isabelle / Bertrand, Roxane / Santi, Serge / Harlay, Françoise / Espesser, Robert (1996): "About the relationship between eyebrow movements and F0 variations", In ICSLP-1996, 2175-2178.