Perception of vocal attractiveness by Mandarin native listeners

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Abstract

Studies on Western societies show that male voices with acoustic parameters encoding a large body size (low fo, narrow formant dispersion and fo range) were considered attractive, while the opposite was true for female voices. The present work investigates whether Mandarin native listeners judge voices of the opposite sex in the same way. We replicated the design in [Xu et al., 2013, PLoS ONE, 8(4), e62397] with the added parameter of creaky voice, which is prevalent in North America nowadays and hotly debated in terms of attractiveness. Thirty-two participants (16 female) rated the attractiveness of synthetic stimuli controlled for fo height, formant dispersion, fo range and voice quality. Similar to studies on Western societies, Mandarin native listeners preferred breathy and modal voices to creaky and pressed voices. Moreover, large-sounding male voices with low fo and narrow formant dispersion were favored. However, a narrow fo range significantly lowered the attractiveness ratings, regardless of the gender of the voice. These results are discussed in light of the cross-linguistic / cross-cultural divergences in vocal attractiveness. Copyright © 2018 International Speech Communications Association. All Rights Reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-348
JournalSpeech Prosody
Volume2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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body size
gender
acoustics
divergence
communication
society
parameter
North America
speech

Citation

Xu, A., & Lee, A. (2018). Perception of vocal attractiveness by Mandarin native listeners. Speech Prosody, 2018, 344-348. doi: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-70

Keywords

  • Attractive voice
  • Articulatory synthesis
  • Creaky voice
  • Mandarin
  • Body size