Do Musicians Speak Differently? Preliminary Results of a Production Study

Noam Amir, Sharon Bolle Fridman, Ortal Shakeman, Nofar Shuli, Avi Karni


Previous research has shown that professional musicians demonstrate superior auditory skills in a range of psychoacoustic and musically related auditory tasks. This heightened acuity has been shown to carry over to speech-oriented auditory tasks also. In the present study, however, we set out to examine whether musical background also effects speech production, in expressing contrastive narrow focus. Eight musicians and eight non-musicians were recorded uttering 24 four-word sentences, in a paradigm designed to elicit narrow focus in one of the words in each sentence. The recordings were evaluated by two panels of listeners (experienced and inexperienced) who were asked to judge whether a specific word was emphasized in each utterance, and to which degree. Results show a significant difference in judgments between the two groups of listeners, and a significant interaction with word position within the utterance. Regardless of listening group and word position, a consistent trend was observed, where emphasis was judged as stronger for musicians, however it was not found statistically significant. We ascribe the lack of significance mainly to the small sample size, and intend to extend this experiment in the future.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-121

Cite as: Amir, N., Fridman, S.B., Shakeman, O., Shuli, N., Karni, A. (2020) Do Musicians Speak Differently? Preliminary Results of a Production Study. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 591-595, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-121.


@inproceedings{Amir2020,
  author={Noam Amir and Sharon Bolle Fridman and Ortal Shakeman and Nofar Shuli and Avi Karni},
  title={{Do Musicians Speak Differently? Preliminary Results of a Production Study}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={591--595},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-121},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-121}
}