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Emotions in freely varying and mono-pitched vowels, acoustic and EGG analyses.

Logopedics, phoniatrics, vocology (2014-07-08)
Teija Waaramaa, Pertti Palo, Elina Kankare
ABSTRACT

Vocal emotions are expressed either by speech or singing. The difference is that in singing the pitch is predetermined while in speech it may vary freely. It was of interest to study whether there were voice quality differences between freely varying and mono-pitched vowels expressed by professional actors. Given their profession, actors have to be able to express emotions both by speech and singing. Electroglottogram and acoustic analyses of emotional utterances embedded in expressions of freely varying vowels [a:], [i:], [u:] (96 samples) and mono-pitched protracted vowels (96 samples) were studied. Contact quotient (CQEGG) was calculated using 35%, 55%, and 80% threshold levels. Three different threshold levels were used in order to evaluate their effects on emotions. Genders were studied separately. The results suggested significant gender differences for CQEGG 80% threshold level. SPL, CQEGG, and F4 were used to convey emotions, but to a lesser degree, when F0 was predetermined. Moreover, females showed fewer significant variations than males. Both genders used more hypofunctional phonation type in mono-pitched utterances than in the expressions with freely varying pitch. The present material warrants further study of the interplay between CQEGG threshold levels and formant frequencies, and listening tests to investigate the perceptual value of the mono-pitched vowels in the communication of emotions.

MATERIALS
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Supelco
VOCOL® Capillary GC Column, L × I.D. 20 m × 0.18 mm, df 1.00 μm
Supelco
VOCOL® Capillary GC Column, L × I.D. 30 m × 0.25 mm, df 1.50 μm
Supelco
VOCOL® Capillary GC Column, L × I.D. 60 m × 0.25 mm, df 1.50 μm
Supelco
VOCOL® Capillary GC Column, L × I.D. 60 m × 0.32 mm, df 1.80 μm
Supelco
VOCOL® Capillary GC Column, L × I.D. 60 m × 0.32 mm, df 3.00 μm
Supelco
VOCOL® Capillary GC Column, L × I.D. 30 m × 0.53 mm, df 3.00 μm
Supelco
VOCOL® Capillary GC Column, L × I.D. 60 m × 0.53 mm, df 3.00 μm
Supelco
VOCOL® Capillary GC Column, L × I.D. 105 m × 0.53 mm, df 3.00 μm