Expressive prosody

The "expressive prosody" theme focuses on the description of prosodic variation during spoken interactions, with respect to its perceptual and acoustical aspects. Various sources of variations are studied: the influence of dialects; the role of culture in the choices made for expressive strategies; multimodal constraints imposed on expressive performances (e.g. for smile).











Figure 1: dialectal maps. The left image presents the mean prosodic distance between each region and the reference point (in white, Beira Litoral), while the right image presents the mean prosodic distance between each region and the reference point (in white, Beira Alta). The shade of grey is a linear function of prosodic distance between two recording locations (cf. Moutinho et al., 2011).

The influence of one type of variation on prosodic performances is described in different ways: in perceptual terms – as the recognition scores, in terms distinctiveness, and as the main dimensions of meaning carried by prosody; in sociolinguistic terms – their uses, their diatopic variation (cf. figure 1) and interlinguistic variation; in acoustical terms – the choices of parameters, and the links between parameters (cf. figure 2).


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Figure 2: Distribution of the attitudinal expressions produces in USA English by L1 speakers, and L2 speakers from Japan and France. Labels are placed in a fundamental frequency X intensity plane, at the mean observed value for all the speakers of a given group. The regression line (in bleu) follows the relative increase in frequency produced when intensity is raised by speakers. The line separates two classes of expressions, whatever the difference between language groups: expressions with a negative valence, or expressing an imposition (above the line), and expressions with a positive valence, or expressing submission (below the line) - cf. Rilliard et al., 2015.

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