Speaker Race Identification from Acoustic Cues in the Vocal Signal.
Sustained /a/ sounds were tape recorded from 50 adult male African-American and 50 adult male European -American speakers. A one-second acoustic sample was extracted from the mid-portion of each sustained vowel. Vowel samples from each African-American subject were randomly paired with those from European-American subjects. A one-second inter-stimulus interval of silence separated the two voices in the pair; the order of the voices in each pair was randomly selected. When presented with a tape of the 50 voice pairs, listeners could determine the race of the speaker with 60% accuracy. An acoustic analysis of the voices revealed that African-American speakers had a tendency toward greater frequency perturbation, significantly greater amplitude perturbation, and a significantly lower harmonics-to-noise ratio than the European-American speakers. An analysis of the listeners' responses revealed that the listeners may have relied on a combination of increased frequency perturbation, increased amplitude perturbation, and a lower harmonics-to-noise ratio to identify the African-American speakers.
- Pub Date:
- Health Sciences: Speech Pathology; Physics: Acoustics; Speech Communication