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Voix de femmes, voix d'hommes : différences acoustiques, identification du genre par la voix et implications psycholinguistiques chez les locuteurs anglophones et francophones

Erwan Pépiot 1 
1 LAPS - Linguistique Anglaise, Psycholinguistique
TransCrit - Transferts critiques anglophones
Abstract : Differences between female and male voices are linked to complex and multidisciplinary issues. The current study focuses on phonetic and psycholinguistic aspects. The first chapter is a literature review of the field. Cross-gender acoustic differences and their origin are discussed, as well as listener's gender identification from voice processing. Psycholinguistic implications are also described. All studies are presented from a critical point of view and research perspectives are proposed. The second chapter presents an acoustic analysis of dissyllabic (pseudo-)words produced by Northeastern American English speakers and Parisian French speakers. Resonant frequencies, mean F0, F0 range, VOT, H1-H2 intensity differences and words' durations were measured. Significant cross-gender differences were obtained for each tested parameter. Moreover, cross-language variations were observed for F0 range, vocalic formants and H1-H2 differences. These results suggest that cross-gender acoustic differences are partly language dependent. The same recordings were then used in gender identification from speech experiment. It was conducted jointly on Parisian French native listeners with French stimuli, and on American English listeners with English stimuli. Listeners had to identify the speaker's gender and indicate their degree of certainty. In both languages, percentages of correct identifications were significantly above chance for initial voiceless consonants, and close to 100 % with initial vowels. Considering the acoustic analysis performed on the stimuli, it was found that American English and French listeners did not use the same strategies. Thus, mean F0 and voice quality (H1-H2) had more influence on American English listeners' judgements than on French listeners', contrary to vowel formant frequencies and F0 range. The fourth and last chapter is dedicated to a word spotting experiment, conducted with French native speakers. The aim of this experiment is to test the participants' response time, depending on whether the target word is produced by a male or a female voice. Results suggest that these two types of voice are processed equally fast, even though they seem processed as two different entities. Moreover, no significant correlation was found between mean F0 of the target word and response time. To conclude, it appears that cross-gender acoustic differences and listeners' strategies in gender identification from voice are strongly language dependent and therefore socially constructed. Research perspectives and practical applications are proposed.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 10, 2013 - 11:30:58 AM
Last modification on : Friday, June 11, 2021 - 2:22:17 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, August 11, 2013 - 4:08:01 AM


  • HAL Id : tel-00821462, version 1


Erwan Pépiot. Voix de femmes, voix d'hommes : différences acoustiques, identification du genre par la voix et implications psycholinguistiques chez les locuteurs anglophones et francophones. Linguistique. Université Paris VIII Vincennes-Saint Denis, 2013. Français. ⟨tel-00821462⟩



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