Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Voice quality and speaking styles

Sandra Madureira, Mario Augusto de Souza Fontes, Beatriz Coelho Fonseca


The objective of this article is presenting an acoustic phonetic and perceptual experiment which explores voice quality and dynamic characteristics in the reading of prose texts, contrasting professional and non-professional voice speakers. In the task of perceptual evaluation, a semantic five-point rating differential scale was used. Two descriptors were introduced: “pleasantness of voice quality” and “professional voice style”. The results of the perceptual evaluation task indicated that the judges were able to differentiate between professional and non-professional voice speakers and that this differentiation could be explained in terms of vocal dynamic characteristics. In relation to the judgments of pleasantness of voice quality, the differentiation was guided by characteristics of vocal quality settings independently of them being professionals or not. Correlations between acoustic and perceptual parameters were based on multivariate analysis. Contributions to the discussion of the indexical power of voice quality for the attribution of characteristics to speakers are presented.

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