Acoustic correlates and gender effects in production and perception of Japanese polite speech

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Shuju, Shi
Tsurutani, Chiharu
Xiaoli, Feng
Jinsong, Zhang
Nobuaki, Minematsu
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T. Lee, L. Xie, J. Dang, H.-M. Wang, J. Wei, H. Feng, Q. Hou, Y. Wei

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2016
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Tianjin, China

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Abstract

This study examines potential contribution of prosodic features and voice quality to the perception and production of Japanese polite speech as well as possible gender effects in politeness strategy. We first recorded speech from 10 native Japanese speakers (5 male, 5 female) under polite and non-polite settings with identical texts. Then perceptual experiment was conducted to rate the politeness of speech. Analysis of data showed that: 1) speakers tend to use narrower pitch range, slower speech rate, less F0 variation and breathy voice to show politeness; 2) raters provide higher scores to speech with slower speech rate, more variation of mora duration, less F0 variation, higher pitch register and breathy voice; 3) there is a slight gender difference in politeness strategy in both perception and production. Overall, this study showed that various acoustic cues are associated with expression of politeness, and some are common among different speakers, while others are gender-dependent or even speaker dependent.

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Proceedings of 2016 The 10th International Symposium on Chinese Spoken Language Processing (ISCSLP)

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Japanese language

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