ISCA Archive SpeechProsody 2022
ISCA Archive SpeechProsody 2022

High-pitched prominences in the speeches of male Polish members of parliament

Maciej Karpiński, Ewa Jarmołowicz-Nowikow, Katarzyna Klessa

The tendency to use a lower voice in public speeches may be well justified by evolutionary and social factors. Low, stable voice is often associated with authority and persuasive power while high-pitched voices are linked to intensive active emotions. In this light, the occurrence of extremely high intonation peaks or falsetto voice in public speeches by male speakers is puzzling and requires explanation. In this study we analyze the usage of high-pitched intonation peaks in ten male members of the Polish parliament based on recordings selected from the MuMoStance Corpus of German and Polish Parliamentary Speeches. The speeches are scrutinized for high pitched prominences using the criteria of (a) relative pitch range and (b) top pitch value relative to the mean pitch of each speaker. The material includes also prominence areas annotations for: hand gestures, head, body movements, and the discourse functions realized by the respective utterances. We qualitatively explore on the distribution, form, and function of high-pitched prominences, and their co-occurrence with gestures and body movement. We find the usage of high-pitched prominences to significantly differ among and within speeches. While they tend to co-occur with gestures, the connection of their characteristics with gestural features is not straightforward.

doi: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2022-75

Cite as: Karpiński, M., Jarmołowicz-Nowikow, E., Klessa, K. (2022) High-pitched prominences in the speeches of male Polish members of parliament. Proc. Speech Prosody 2022, 367-371, doi: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2022-75

  author={Maciej Karpiński and Ewa Jarmołowicz-Nowikow and Katarzyna Klessa},
  title={{High-pitched prominences in the speeches of male Polish members of parliament}},
  booktitle={Proc. Speech Prosody 2022},