The Effect of Spectral Tilt on Size Discrimination of Voiced Speech Sounds

Toshie Matsui, Toshio Irino, Kodai Yamamoto, Hideki Kawahara, Roy D. Patterson


A number of studies, with either voiced or unvoiced speech, have demonstrated that a speaker’s geometric mean formant frequency (MFF) has a large effect on the perception of the speaker’s size, as would be expected. One study with unvoiced speech showed that lifting the slope of the speech spectrum by 6 dB/octave also led to a reduction in the perceived size of the speaker. This paper reports an analogous experiment to determine whether lifting the slope of the speech spectrum by 6 dB/octave affects the perception of speaker size with voiced speech (words). The results showed that voiced speech with high-frequency enhancement was perceived to arise from smaller speakers. On average, the point of subjective equality in MFF discrimination was reduced by about 5%. However, there were large individual differences; some listeners were effectively insensitive to spectral enhancement of 6 dB/octave; others showed a consistent effect of the same enhancement. The results suggest that models of speaker size perception will need to include a listener specific parameter for the effect of spectral slope.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-282

Cite as: Matsui, T., Irino, T., Yamamoto, K., Kawahara, H., Patterson, R.D. (2017) The Effect of Spectral Tilt on Size Discrimination of Voiced Speech Sounds. Proc. Interspeech 2017, 601-605, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-282.


@inproceedings{Matsui2017,
  author={Toshie Matsui and Toshio Irino and Kodai Yamamoto and Hideki Kawahara and Roy D. Patterson},
  title={The Effect of Spectral Tilt on Size Discrimination of Voiced Speech Sounds},
  year=2017,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2017},
  pages={601--605},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2017-282},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2017-282}
}