Individual Variation in Cognitive Processing Style Predicts Differences in Phonetic Imitation of Device and Human Voices

Cathryn Snyder, Michelle Cohn, Georgia Zellou


Phonetic imitation, or implicitly matching the acoustic-phonetic patterns of another speaker, has been empirically associated with natural tendencies to promote successful social communication, as well as individual differences in personality and cognitive processing style. The present study explores whether individual differences in cognitive processing style, as indexed by self-reported scored from the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) questionnaire, are linked to the way people imitate the vocal productions by two digital device voices (i.e., Apple’s Siri) and two human voices. Subjects first performed a word shadowing task of human and device voices and then completed the self-administered AQ. We assessed imitation of two acoustic properties: f0 and vowel duration. We find that the attention to detail and the imagination subscale scores on the AQ mediated degree of imitation of f0 and vowel duration, respectively. The findings yield new insight to speech production and perception mechanisms and how it interacts with individual cognitive processing style differences.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2669

Cite as: Snyder, C., Cohn, M., Zellou, G. (2019) Individual Variation in Cognitive Processing Style Predicts Differences in Phonetic Imitation of Device and Human Voices. Proc. Interspeech 2019, 116-120, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2669.


@inproceedings{Snyder2019,
  author={Cathryn Snyder and Michelle Cohn and Georgia Zellou},
  title={{Individual Variation in Cognitive Processing Style Predicts Differences in Phonetic Imitation of Device and Human Voices}},
  year=2019,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2019},
  pages={116--120},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2669},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2669}
}