Spontaneous voice gender imitation abilities in adult speakers

Cartei, Valentina, Wind Cowles, Heidi and Reby, David (2012) Spontaneous voice gender imitation abilities in adult speakers. PloS ONE, 7 (2). e31353. ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Background
The frequency components of the human voice play a major role in signalling the gender of the speaker. A voice imitation study was conducted to investigate individuals' ability to make behavioural adjustments to fundamental frequency (F0), and formants (Fi) in order to manipulate their expression of voice gender.

Methodology/Principal Findings
Thirty-two native British-English adult speakers were asked to read out loud different types of text (words, sentence, passage) using their normal voice and then while sounding as ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ as possible. Overall, the results show that both men and women raised their F0 and Fi when feminising their voice, and lowered their F0 and Fi when masculinising their voice.

Conclusions/Significance
These observations suggest that adult speakers are capable of spontaneous glottal and vocal tract length adjustments to express masculinity and femininity in their voice. These results point to a “gender code”, where speakers make a conventionalized use of the existing sex dimorphism to vary the expression of their gender and gender-related attributes.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: Q Science > QZ Psychology
Depositing User: David Reby
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2012 12:41
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2017 23:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13893

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