8th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Antwerp, Belgium
August 27-31, 2007

On the Importance of Pure Prosody in the Perception of Speaker Identity

Elina E. Helander (1), Jani Nurminen (2)

(1) Tampere University of Technology, Finland
(2) Nokia Technology Platforms, Finland

Many of the current techniques and systems that deal with speaker identity do not regard detailed prosody as a crucial source of speaker-dependent information. The reasoning behind this relates to the common assumption that the F0 level and the spectral data carry all or almost all of the speaker-dependent information. But is this assumption really valid? We have investigated the importance of prosodic information in the perception of speaker identity by conducting a test where the listeners tried to identify people they know after hearing only delexicalized pure prosody signals. The findings presented in this paper show that even a very rough prosodic representation consisting only of a single sinusoid can contain information on speaker identity, giving motivation for the development and wider usage of techniques that better exploit the prosodic aspects.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Helander, Elina E. / Nurminen, Jani (2007): "On the importance of pure prosody in the perception of speaker identity", In INTERSPEECH-2007, 2665-2668.