8th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Geneva, Switzerland
September 1-4, 2003


Is There an Emotion Signature in Intonational Patterns? And Can It be Used in Synthesis?

Tanja Banziger (1), Michel Morel (2), Klaus R. Scherer (1)

(1) University of Geneva, Switzerland
(2) University of Caen, France

Intonation is often considered to play an important role in the vocal communication of emotion. Early studies using pitch manipulation have supported this view. However, the properties of pitch contours involved in marking emotional state remain largely unidentified. In this contribution, a corpus of actor-generated utterances for 8 emotions was used to measure intonation (pitch contour) by identifying key features of the F0 contour. The data show that the profiles obtained vary reliably with respect to F0 level as a function of the degree of activation of the emotion concerned. However, there is little evidence for qualitatively different forms of profiles for different emotions. Results of recent collaborative studies on the use of the F0 patterns identified in this research with synthesized utterances are presented. The nature of the contribution of F0/pitch contours to emotional speech is discussed; it is argued that pitch contours have to be considered as configurations that acquire emotional meaning only through interaction with a linguistic and paralinguistic context.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Banziger, Tanja / Morel, Michel / Scherer, Klaus R. (2003): "Is there an emotion signature in intonational patterns? and can it be used in synthesis?", In EUROSPEECH-2003, 1641-1644.