Politeness, culture, and speaking task - paralinguistic prosodic behavior of speakers from Austria and Germany

Sven Grawunder, Marianne Oertel, Cordula Schwarze


This paper tests previous findings for polite speech of low pitch, low intensity, higher number of hesitation markers and filled pauses against those parameters in a different socio-cultural background. Two similar groups of (19+13) participants, from Austria and from Germany, were recorded. The adopted experimental approach used 16 tasks aiming at different speech acts in situations that evoke either polite or informal speech. The analyzed acoustic and electroglottographic signals reveal main effects for lower pitch, lower intensity and HNR only for the German group. Open quotient values differ only for female speakers. In both groups significantly lower word rate and lower speaking rate as well as higher rates of filled pauses and hesitation markers are found in formal (polite) conditions. However individual speakers can show indifferent or opposing behavior for a given parameter with compensatory utilisation of other parameters in order to express politeness (formality).


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-20

Cite as: Grawunder, S., Oertel, M., Schwarze, C. (2014) Politeness, culture, and speaking task - paralinguistic prosodic behavior of speakers from Austria and Germany. Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014, 159-163, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-20.


@inproceedings{Grawunder2014,
  author={Sven Grawunder and Marianne Oertel and Cordula Schwarze},
  title={{Politeness, culture, and speaking task - paralinguistic prosodic behavior of speakers from Austria and Germany}},
  year=2014,
  booktitle={Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014},
  pages={159--163},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-20},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-20}
}