Listeners’ Ability to Identify Professional Speaking Styles Based on Prosodic Cues

Luciana Castro, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Myrian Freitas, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
João Antônio de Moraes, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Ben Serridge, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

The goal of this study is to evaluate to what extent listeners are capable of distinguishing between professional speaking styles based only on prosodic cues. The four speaking styles contemplated in the study – TV news, religious, political, and interview speech – were recorded in the context of normal use from Brazilian television and low-pass filtered to remove semantic information. The participants of a perception study were presented with one minute samples of the filtered speech and asked to choose which of two speaking styles each sample represents. The results of the perception experiment demonstrate that listeners are able to identify the speaking style with 90\% accuracy, proving that even when semantic and lexical information is removed from the signal, there remains sufficient information in the prosodic cues to allow listeners to identify these speaking styles.