5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

Prosody And Voice Quality In The Expression Of Emotions

Elisabeth Zetterholm

Lund university, Dept of Linguistics and Phonetics, Sweden

Terms for voice quality or phonation types for use in normal speech often come from studies of pathological speech (laryngeal settings) and it is hard to describe voice quality, especially the variations of a normal voice. In normal speech we use different voice qualities both for linguistic distinctions in some languages, prosodically as a boundary signal, socially depending on social and regional variants and paralinguistically in attitudes and emotions. This paper shows some reference types of voice qualities, recorded by a trained phonetician, and their acoustic correlates. In a pilot study a male actor recorded four attitudinally neutral sentences using five different emotions which are being compared to his neutral voice. It is evident that voice quality, as well as rhythm and intonation, plays an important role in giving the impression of different emotions.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Zetterholm, Elisabeth (1998): "Prosody and voice quality in the expression of emotions", In ICSLP-1998, paper 1043.