Third International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP 94)

Yokohama, Japan
September 18-22, 1994

The Auditory Perception of Children'S Age And Sex

Hartmut Traunmüller (1), Renée van Bezooijen (2)

(1) Institutionen for lingvistik, Stockholms universitet Stockholm, Sweden
(2) Vakgroep Algemene Taalwetenschap en Dialectologie, Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Data on the accuracy with which listeners rate the age of children and some knowledge about the relative contributions of underlying factors (Fo, formant frequencies, 'verbal maturation') have been obtained in perceptual experiments using excerpts from interviews with children in the age groups 5, 7, 9, and 11 years. Utterances containing verbal cues to age were avoided by presenting written versions to a panel of judges. The utterances were LPC-analyzed and resynthesized with modifications, to obtain whispered speech, speech of 9 year olds with F0, formants, and speech rate modified as at an age of 5, 7, 9, and 11 years, and whispered versions of these. The listeners agreed in their age ratings with an SD around 1.5 years. The differences between the four types of speech were small. The analysis showed the perceptual weight of the 'verbal maturation' factor to increase with experience, and that of F0to decrease. Data on sex recognition are presented without factor analysis.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Traunmüller, Hartmut / Bezooijen, Renée van (1994): "The auditory perception of children's age and sex", In ICSLP-1994, 1171-1174.