Speech Prosody 2004

Nara, Japan
March 23-26, 2004

Perceiving Prominence and Emotion in Speech - a Cross Lingual Study

Noam Amir, Bat-Chen Almogi, Ronit Gal

Department of Communications Disorders, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel

Suprasegmentals in general, and the pitch contour in particular, contain a large amount of information pertaining to gestural intentions and the emotional state of the speaker. In this study we compare perceptual identification tasks of prominence and inquiry on one hand, and anger, on the other hand, as performed by two separate groups: a group of native Hebrew speakers, and a group of native Arabic speakers, who have acquired Hebrew as a second language. All of the perceptual tests were carried out on Hebrew speech. Analysis of the results revealed near categorical perception of prominence for native speakers only. Overall, native speakers identified prominence more readily than non-native speakers. Concerning anger, both groups identified nearly the same subset of utterances as expressing anger, though the Arabic speakers consistently rated them as having a lower degree of anger.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Amir, Noam / Almogi, Bat-Chen / Gal, Ronit (2004): "Perceiving prominence and emotion in speech - a cross lingual study", In SP-2004, 375-378.