The team of Language and Hearing Research led by Professor Wentao Gu of our college has published a paper in the first district of SSCI, named Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research this August. The title of the paper is: Therole of voice quality in Mandarin sarcastic speech: An acoustic and electroglottographic study, whose first author of the paper is Shanpeng Li, a doctoral student of our college, and the corresponding author is Professor Wentao Gu. This research received financial support from the National Social Science Foundation.
Purpose Sarcasm is a specialized speech act in daily vocal communication usually characterized by unique prosodic features, but the role of voice quality in expressing sarcasm has not been explored much.
As more and more scholars have attributed the sound quality of the voice to the prosodic feature, Shanpeng Li thought that he could explore the acoustic features of ironic utterances from the perspective of the sound quality of the voice.
Hence, Method Fifteen male and 15 female native speakers of Mandarin uttered 31 target sentences with both sincere and sarcastic attitudes. Nine voice quality parameters extracted from the acoustic and electroglottographic signals were analyzed using a linear mixed model, and a classification analysis using a random forest algorithm was conducted to identify the relative contribution of these parameters to the differentiation between sincere and sarcastic utterances.
Results In comparison to sincere speech, sarcastic speech had a creakier voice, which was characterized by a lower fundamental frequency, a greater degree of vocal fold adduction (i.e., higher contact quotient), lesser noise (i.e., higher harmonics-to-noise ratio), and more multiple pulsing (i.e., higher subharmonic-to-harmonic ratio). The interaction effect revealed a gender difference in the use of creakier voice to express sarcasm in Mandarin. The classification analysis using the random forest algorithm showed that the nine voice quality parameters resulted in 84.0% and 83.7% identification rates for sarcastic and sincere utterances, respectively. Conclusions The results of this preliminary study support the role of voice quality in expressing sarcasm in Mandarin speech. Using a set of voice quality parameters, sarcastic and sincere utterances can be effectively identified. Furthermore, there is a gender difference in the use of creakier voice in expressing Mandarin sarcastic speech.
The first author of the paper is Li Shanpeng, master and doctor both under the tutelage of Professor Gu Wentao. His research direction is phonetics and speech engineering, and he was selected into the "School Development Plan" special enrollment plan for doctoral students in 2016.
He has been learning diligently during his master and doctor years. His papers have been published in THE EI academic journal "Journal of Tsinghua University (Natural Science edition)", INTERSPEECH, the international conference on speech Processing, and ICPhS, the international conference on speech Science.
Because of his great achievements in Scientific research, after graduating this summer, he will become an assistant professor at the School of Foreign Languages, Nanjing University of Science and Technology.It is worth mentioning that the other two co-authors of this paper, Liu Lei and Tang Ping, both studied under Professor Wentao Gu, among whom Dr. Tang Ping has been an associate professor in the School of Foreign Languages of Nanjing University of Science and Technology since last year.
Language and Hearing and speech engineering are naturally compatible interdisciplinary research directions of humanities, sciences and engineering, and they are indispensable scientific and technological bases for the development of artificial intelligence.In the social background of the constructing new liberal arts, the study of Language and Hearing is expected to make more outstanding contributions.