This paper presents three experiments on the integration of speaker gender cues in Cantonese tone perception. Experiment 1 compared tone identification of F0-matched stimuli between different gender voices and showed that listeners tended to hear lower tones for stimuli with female-sounding voices and higher tones for stimuli with male-sounding voices. Experiment 2 investigated whether a similar voice gender normalization effect would occur in pitch perception. The results showed that unlike tone categorization shifting with voice gender systematically, voice gender interfered with pitch perception in listener-specific ways. In particular, musicians who were not affected by voice gender in pitch perception still showed a tone boundary shift induced by voice gender. Experiment 3 evaluated the influence of non-voice gender cues on tone identification with the guises of gendered names. The result shows that gendered names barely induced any shift on their own as guises of an identical set of gender-ambiguous stimuli; however, gendered names enhanced the shift when patterned with gender-prototypical voices of their gender. These findings support an additional phonological normalization process on top of psychoacoustic sensation. They also suggest that speaker normalization involves fine-grained processing of rich social cues conveyed by acoustic signals rather than merely abstract social labels.
Skip Nav Destination
June 24 2020
The effect of speaker gender on Cantonese tone perception
Wei Lai, Jianjing Kuang; The effect of speaker gender on Cantonese tone perception. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 June 2020; 147 (6): 4119–4132. https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0001411
Download citation file: