Voice-to-Affect Mapping: Inferences on Language Voice Baseline Settings

Ailbhe Ní Chasaide, Irena Yanushevskaya, Christer Gobl


Modulations of the voice convey affect, and the precise mapping of voice-to-affect may vary for different languages. However, affect-related modulations occur relative to the baseline affect-neutral voice, which tends to differ from language to language. Little is known about the characteristic long-term voice settings for different languages, and how they influence the use of voice quality to signal affect. In this paper, data from a voice-to-affect perception test involving Russian, English, Spanish and Japanese subjects is re-examined to glean insights concerning likely baseline settings in these languages. The test used synthetic stimuli with different voice qualities (modelled on a male voice), with or without extreme f0 contours as might be associated with affect. Cross-language differences in affect ratings for modal and tense voice suggest that the baseline in Spanish and Japanese is inherently tenser than in Russian and English, and that as a corollary, tense voice serves as a more potent cue to high-activation affects in the latter languages. A relatively tenser baseline in Japanese and Spanish is further suggested by the fact that tense voice can be associated with intimate, a low activation state, just as readily as with the high-activation state interested.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1181

Cite as: Chasaide, A.N., Yanushevskaya, I., Gobl, C. (2017) Voice-to-Affect Mapping: Inferences on Language Voice Baseline Settings. Proc. Interspeech 2017, 1258-1262, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1181.


@inproceedings{Chasaide2017,
  author={Ailbhe Ní Chasaide and Irena Yanushevskaya and Christer Gobl},
  title={Voice-to-Affect Mapping: Inferences on Language Voice Baseline Settings},
  year=2017,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2017},
  pages={1258--1262},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1181},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1181}
}