Speech Prosody 2008

Campinas, Brazil
May 6-9, 2008

A Cross-Cultural Comparison of American, Palestinian, and Swedish Perception of Charismatic Speech

Fadi Biadsy (1), Andrew Rosenberg (1), Rolf Carlson (2), Julia Hirschberg (1), Eva Strangert (3)

(1) Department of Computer Science Columbia University, New York, USA
(2) CSC, Department of Speech, Music and Hearing, KTH, Stockholm, Sweden
(3) Department of Comparative Literature and Scandinavian Languages, Ume°a University, Sweden

Perception of charisma, the ability to influence others by virtue of one’s personal qualities, appears to be influenced to some extent by cultural factors. We compare results of five studies of charisma speech in which American, Palestinian, and Swedish subjects rated Standard American English political speech and Americans and Palestinians rated Palestinian Arabic speech. We identify acoustic-prosodic and lexical features correlated with charisma ratings of both languages for native and non-native speakers and find that 1) some acoustic-prosodic features correlated with charisma ratings appear similar across all five experiments; 2) other acoustic-prosodic and lexical features correlated with charisma appear specific to the language rated, whatever the native language of the rater; and 3) still other acoustic-prosodic cues appear specific to both rater native language and to language rated. We also find that, while the absolute ratings non-native raters assign tend to be lower than those of native speakers, the ratings themselves are strongly correlated.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Biadsy, Fadi / Rosenberg, Andrew / Carlson, Rolf / Hirschberg, Julia / Strangert, Eva (2008): "A cross-cultural comparison of american, Palestinian, and Swedish perception of charismatic speech", In SP-2008, 579-582.