Effects of the acoustic characteristics on the emotional tones of voice of Mandarin tones

Hui-Shan CHANG, Shuenn-Tsong YOUNG, Chi Pun YUEN

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Objectives: In Mandarin Chinese, a tonal language, the pitch pattern of syllables conveys lexical meaning. There are four tone patterns (Tone 1 through Tone 4) defined by the pitch pattern, or the fundamental frequency pattern. Each of them has very unique acoustic characteristics, including fundamental frequency, amplitude, duration, tempo, pausing, distribution of energy in the frequency spectrum, and formant location. Emotional tone of voice is defined as a vocal expression of emotion conveying affective information. Each of them also has very unique acoustic characteristics. The acoustic characteristics of Mandarin tones change the listener's perception of the meaning of an utterance. Emotional tone of voice is alike in perception, when acoustic characteristics of the emotional tone of voice changes, the perception of the listener may vary. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the variation of the acoustic characteristics of the four tones across different emotional tones of voice in Mandarin. Study Design: 11 male subjects and 11 female subjects (mean age: 26) participated in this study. All subjects were native Mandarin speakers, had no history of any speech and hearing disorder, and passed articulation and voice assessment successfully. All speech samples designed by the author were used in this study. There were a total of forty speech samples: two phonetic contexts (/ti/ and /tu/), four lexical tones, and five different emotional tones of voice (angry, sad, fear, neutral, and happy tones of voice). Acoustic analysis of each target syllable included the mean F0, the mean amplitude, and the duration of the target syllables. Results: The mean F0 and the mean amplitude for four tones of the target syllables are significant different across five different emotional tones of voice, but the duration for four tones of the target syllables of neutral tone of voice are similar with those of the other four emotional tones of voice. This is a preliminary study to investigate the variation of the acoustic characteristics of the four tones across different emotional tones of voice in Mandarin, and the furthering investigation is needed. Copyright © 2010 Australian Acoustical Society, NSW Division.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 20th International Congress on Acoustics, ICA 2010: Incorporating Proceedings of the 2010 Annual Conference of the Australian Acoustical Society
EditorsMarion BURGESS, John DAVEY, Charles DON, Terry MCMINN
Place of PublicationN.Y.
PublisherRed Hook
Pages3581-3584
Volume5
ISBN (Print)9781617827457
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Citation

Chang, H.-S., Young, S.-T., & Yuen, K. (2010). Effects of the acoustic characteristics on the emotional tones of voice of Mandarin tones. In M. Burgess, J. Davey, C. Don, & T. Mcminn (Eds.), Proceedings of 20th International Congress on Acoustics, ICA 2010: Incorporating Proceedings of the 2010 Annual Conference of the Australian Acoustical Society (pp. 3581-3584). N.Y.: Red Hook.

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