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Nordic Prosody

Proceedings of the XIIth Conference, Trondheim 2016

Edited By Jardar Eggesbö Abrahamsen, Jacques Koreman and Wim van Dommelen

This volume contains articles based on the presentations given at the Nordic Prosody XII conference, which was held at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Trondheim, Norway) in August 2016. The contributors investigate various prosodic aspects, including intonation, rhythm, speaking rate, intensity, and breathing, using approaches ranging from phonetic and phonological analysis to speech technology methods. While most of the studies examine read speech, some of them explore the prosodics of spontaneous speech. The languages that receive most attention are Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic as well as Estonian, Latgalian and Polish. In addition to the larger Nordic languages, several papers focus on regional languages spoken in these areas.

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Some gender patterns in Estonian dyadic conversations (Kätlin Aare / Pärtel Lippus)


Kätlin Aare, Pärtel Lippus

Some gender patterns in Estonian dyadic conversations

Abstract: A previous study (Aare et al., 2014) on creaky voice in spontaneous Estonian showed creakiness to be characteristic of young men. In this paper we look more into the dyadic gender and age patterns related to conversational dominance in Estonian. Our results reveal a clear dominance pattern in favor of male and older speakers in how much a person speaks during a conversation. A slightly less evident but similar pattern can be observed in using creaky voice. The mean pitch of the speaker shows an adaptation pattern: both male and female speakers use lower pitch when speaking to a male and higher pitch when speaking to a female interlocutor. Articulation rate, which in many languages is faster for male speakers, shows no gender effect in our data.

1. Introduction

Only a part of the phonetic variability between female and male speech can be explained by the differences in body size, and to a lesser extent than often believed. For example, the size of the vocal tract only explains the higher formant frequencies of female speakers, but compared to male speakers, female speakers have also been shown to use a larger vowel space. Furthermore, female speakers have been reported to speak more clearly with a slower articulation rate and a relatively greater pitch range (Simpson, 2009; Pettinato et al., 2016). Such differences often appear already in the early stages...

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