When a bilingual switches languages, do they switch their voice? Using a conversational corpus of speech from early Cantonese-English bilinguals (n = 34), this paper examines the talker-specific acoustic signatures of bilingual voices. Following the psychoacoustic model of voice, 24 filter and source-based acoustic measurements are estimated. The analysis summarizes mean differences for these dimensions and identifies the underlying structure of each talker's voice across languages with principal component analyses. Canonical redundancy analyses demonstrate that while talkers vary in the degree to which they have the same voice across languages, all talkers show strong similarity with themselves, suggesting an individual's voice remains relatively constant across languages. Voice variability is sensitive to sample size, and we establish the required sample to settle on a consistent impression of one's voice. These results have implications for human and machine voice recognition for bilinguals and monolinguals and speak to the substance of voice prototypes.
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June 07 2023
The structure of acoustic voice variation in bilingual speech
Khia A. Johnson;
Khia A. Johnson, Molly Babel; The structure of acoustic voice variation in bilingual speech. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 June 2023; 153 (6): 3221–. https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0019659
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