Perception of anger and happiness from resynthesized speech with size-related manipulations

Yi Xu, University College London
Andrew Kelly, University College London

Recent research has shown that listeners can hear anger and happiness from articulatorily synthesized vowels with body-size-related manipulations. In the present study we explore the possibility that direct manipulation of spectrum and F0 of naturally produced speech along the size dimension can also lead to perception of certain emotions. Ten English digits spoken in a neutral emotion by a native speaker of British English were resynthesized with spectral and F0 manipulations to simulate changes in body size. Seven native listeners judged the size and emotion of the speaker. Results show that they heard digits with lower F0 and/or smaller spectral dispersion as said by a large or angry speaker, and digits with higher F0 and/or larger spectral dispersion as by a small or happy speaker. These results are consistent with a previous finding based on synthetic speech. This is further evidence that size projection is a basic encoding mechanism for anger and happiness in vocal expression of emotions.