Ninth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Pittsburgh, PA, USA
September 17-21, 2006

A Study of Emotional Speech Articulation Using a Fast Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technique

Sungbok Lee, Erik Bresch, Jason Adams, Abe Kazemzadeh, Shrikanth Narayanan

University of Southern California, USA

A recently developed fast MR imaging system is utilized for a study of emotional speech production. Speech utterances and corresponding mid-sagittal vocal tract images are simultaneously acquired by the MRI system. Neutral, angry, sad and happy emotions are simulated by a male American English speaker. The MRI system and analysis results are described in this report. In general articulation is found to be more active in terms of the rate of vocal tract shaping and the ranges of spectral parameter values in emotional speech. It is confirmed that angry speech is characterized by wider and faster vocal tract shaping. Moreover, angry speech shows the more prominent usage of the pharyngeal region than any other emotions. It is also observed that the average vocal tract length above the false vocal folds varies as a function of emotion and that happy speech exhibit relatively shorter length than other emotions. It is likely that this is due to the elevation of the larynx and that may facilitate the higher pitch and larger pitch range manipulation to encode happy emotional quality by the speaker.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lee, Sungbok / Bresch, Erik / Adams, Jason / Kazemzadeh, Abe / Narayanan, Shrikanth (2006): "A study of emotional speech articulation using a fast magnetic resonance imaging technique", In INTERSPEECH-2006, paper 1792-Thu1A3O.3.