Characterizing Variation in Fundamental Frequency Contours of Professional Speaking Styles

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

Recent perception experiments confirm that listeners are clearly able to distinguish between professional speaking styles, even when semantic content is removed by low-pass filtering the original speech signal. The objective of this study is to evaluate whether acoustic metrics that characterize the overall fundamental frequency contour also vary significantly according to speaking style. The analysis is based on a corpus of Brazilian Portuguese speech representing TV news broadcasters, politicians, religious leaders, and interview subjects on a TV talk show. Of the metrics proposed in the literature and evaluated here, statistical analysis shows that only the mean fundamental frequency and the percentage of dynamic tones exhibit statistically significant differences across speaking styles.