Speech Prosody 2004

Nara, Japan
March 23-26, 2004

Global Trend of Fundamental Frequency in Emotional Speech

Astrid Paeschke

Department of Communication Science, Technical University of Berlin, Germany

In this study - which is part of an extensive investigation of the prosodic features of emotional speech - global trends of fundamental frequency were examined. The primary goal was to test the use of this parameter to characterize a specific set of emotions (happiness, anger, anxiety, sadness, disgust and boredom). Global F0 trend was measured in the form of the gradient of the linear regression in order to avoid the dis-advantages associated with the determination of base and top lines commonly used to examine declination. A secondary goal was to bring a new argument into the discussion of causes for declination and its degree of influence on speech pro-duction.

Results show a significant steeper downward trend for boredom than for neutral speech and a significant smaller falling global trend for all other emotions than for neutral speech. While the global trend seems to be appropriate especially for the description of boredom and sadness and to a slightly lesser extent also for anxiety and disgust, it is almost meaningless for the emotions happiness and anger. In happy and angry utterances the pitch accents are strong enough to hide the global downward trend completely. The results for each emotion are discussed in detail with respect to specific physiological constraints, as well as auditory impression and other prosodic features typical for these emotions.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Paeschke, Astrid (2004): "Global trend of fundamental frequency in emotional speech", In SP-2004, 671-674.