8th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Antwerp, Belgium
August 27-31, 2007

Effects of Testosterone Levels on Temporal and Intonational Aspects of Speech: More Exploratory Data

Charles A. Lamoureux, Victor J. Boucher

Université de Montréal, Canada

There is a growing body of work on the effects of hormonal factors on speech and language behavior. The present research explores the links between speakers' testosterone levels and suprasegmental aspects of speech, namely speaking rate and pitch measures for intonational phrases. Saliva samples were collected from 40 men aged between 20 and 27 years in order to assess testosterone levels. Subjects were recorded reading a standard text. Acoustic analyses of the readings revealed significant correlations where speakers with low testosterone levels tended to use higher and more variable pitch than speakers with high testosterone levels at phrase boundaries. Furthermore, the results also showed significant relationships between salivary testosterone and speaking rate during the readings. These findings reinforce the assumption that some within-sex differences in speech and voice may be based on hormonal factors.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lamoureux, Charles A. / Boucher, Victor J. (2007): "Effects of testosterone levels on temporal and intonational aspects of speech: more exploratory data", In INTERSPEECH-2007, 1426-1428.