5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

Multi-Dimensional Scaling of Listener Responses to Complex Auditory Stimuli

Z. S. Bond, Donald Fucci, Verna Stockmal, Douglas McColl

Ohio University, USA

This study explored the attributes of languages to which listeners attend, using magnitude estimation and multidimensional scaling techniques. In magnitude estimation. listeners assign any numerical value to a set of stimuli. In response to the question: How similar is this language to English'? fifty college students assigned numerical values to spoken samples of foreign languages. The languages represented Europe, Asia and Africa. Differences between the mean ratings for each language and English were used to construct a proximity matrix which was submitted to MDS analysis. The optimum solution employed three dimensions. The first dimension was interpreted as "familiarity," the second as "speaker affect," and the third as "prosodic pattern." The MDS maps suggest that listeners were using English as a standard of comparison to the acoustic-phonetic properties of other languages. The maps resulted from the relationship between each language and the standard. and speaker and language characteristics which listeners found salient.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Bond, Z. S. / Fucci, Donald / Stockmal, Verna / McColl, Douglas (1998): "Multi-dimensional scaling of listener responses to complex auditory stimuli", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0163.