Speech Prosody 2006

Dresden, Germany
May 2-5, 2006

How Prosodic Attitudes can be False Friends: Japanese vs. French Social Affects

Takaaki Shochi, Véronique Aubergé, Albert Rilliard

Institut de la Communication Parlée, UMR CNRS 5009, Grenoble, France

The attitudes of the speaker during a verbal interaction are affects linked to the speaker intentions, and are built by the language and the culture. They are a very large part of the affects expressed during an interaction, voluntary controlled, This paper describes several experiments which show that some attitudes own both to Japanese and French and are implemented in perceptively similar prosody, but that some Japanese attitudes don’t exist and/or are wrongly decoded by French listeners. Results are presented for 12 attitudes and three levels of language (naive, beginner, intermediary). It must particularly be noted that French listeners, naive in Japanese, can very well recognize admiration, authority and irritation; that they don’t discriminate Japanese question and declaration before the intermediary level, and that the extreme Japanese politeness is interpreted as impoliteness by French listeners, even when they can speak a good level of Japanese.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Shochi, Takaaki / Aubergé, Véronique / Rilliard, Albert (2006): "How prosodic attitudes can be false friends: Japanese vs. French social affects", In SP-2006, paper 249.