ISCA Archive Interspeech 2022
ISCA Archive Interspeech 2022

Fundamental Frequency Variability over Time in Telephone Interactions

Leah Bradshaw, Eleanor Chodroff, Lena Jäger, Volker Dellwo

Speech signals contain substantial fundamental frequency (f0) variability. Even within a single utterance, speakers modify f0 to create different intonational patterns. Previous studies have identified markers of increased f0 variability, such as the introduction of a new topic or greetings, but these are limited in the scope of their analyses. In the present study, we investigate f0 variability over the course of a telephone conversation, with a focus on the initial and medial utterances within the exchange. We examined f0 standard deviation of each utterance in over 2000 telephone conversations from 509 American English speakers from the Switchboard corpus. Findings showed that on average, speakers exhibit more f0 variability in the opening compared to mid-conversation utterances. Further, findings suggest that the inclusion of a greeting word in an initial turn, e.g., "hello” or "hi”, corresponds to an increase in f0 standard deviation. These results suggest that speakers employed more variable f0 in the initial few turns of a telephone conversation. The interpretation of this finding is multifaceted and may be linked to several communicative goals, including the placement of identity markers in conversation or the attraction of attention, or the role of openings as boundary markers.

doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2022-10669

Cite as: Bradshaw, L., Chodroff, E., Jäger, L., Dellwo, V. (2022) Fundamental Frequency Variability over Time in Telephone Interactions. Proc. Interspeech 2022, 101-105, doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2022-10669

  author={Leah Bradshaw and Eleanor Chodroff and Lena Jäger and Volker Dellwo},
  title={{Fundamental Frequency Variability over Time in Telephone Interactions}},
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2022},