Speech Prosody 2006

Dresden, Germany
May 2-5, 2006

Mapping Voice to Affect: Japanese listeners

Irena Yanushevskaya, Christer Gobl, Ailbhe N Chasaide

Phonetics and Speech Laboratory, School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences, University of Dublin, Trinity College, Ireland

This paper reports the results of perception tests administered to speakers of Japanese as part of a cross-language investigation of how voice quality and f0 combine in the signalling of affect. Three types of synthesised stimuli were presented: (1) VQ only involving variations in voice quality and a neutral f0; (2) f0 only, with different f0 contours and modal voice; and (3) combined VQ + f0 stimuli, where combinations of (1) and (2) were employed. Overall, stimuli involving voice quality variation (1 and 3) proved to be most consistently associated with affect. In series (2) only stimuli with very high f0 yielded high affective ratings. Some striking differences emerge in the ratings obtained for Japanese subjects compared to those obtained for speakers of Hiberno-English, suggesting that the generation of expressive speech synthesis will need to be sensitive to language specific uses of the voice.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Yanushevskaya, Irena / Gobl, Christer / N Chasaide, Ailbhe (2006): "Mapping voice to affect: Japanese listeners", In SP-2006, paper 265.