International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages
With Emphasis on Tone Languages

Beijing, China
March 28-31, 2004

Listening Between the Lines: A Study of Paralinguistic Information Carried by Tone-of-Voice

Nick Campbell

ATR Human Information Science Laboratories, Keihanna Science City, Kyoto, Japan

This paper describes a study of speaking-style characteristics, or "tone-of-voice", in conversational speech, and shows that non-verbal information is transmitted efficiently regardless of cultural and linguistic contexts through differences in prosodic and voice-quality features. We asked Korean and American listeners with no previous kowledge of Japanese to judge the meaning of various utterances of the interjection "eh" in Japanese conversations, and compared their perceptions with the acoustic characteristics of the speech. We found voice-quality information to be an important discriminator.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Campbell, Nick (2004): "Listening between the lines: a study of paralinguistic information carried by tone-of-voice", In TAL-2004, 13-16.