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Processing the prosody of oral presentations
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Language and Communication (closed 2011-01-01).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1351-636X
2004 (English)In: Proc InSTIL/ICALL2004 NLP and Speech Technologies in Advanced Language Learning / [ed] Delmonte, R.; Delcloque, P.; Tonellli, S., Venice, Italy, 2004, 63-66 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Standard advice to people preparing to speak in public is to use a “lively” voice. A lively voice is described as one that varies in intonation, rhythm and loudness: qualities that can be analyzed using speech analysis software. This paper reports on a study analyzing pitch variation as a measure of speaker liveliness. A potential application of this approach for analysis would be for rehearsing or assessing the prosody of oral presentations. While public speaking can be intimidating even to native speakers, second language users are especially challenged, particularly when it comes to using their voices in a prosodically engaging manner.The material is a database of audio recordings of twenty 10-minute student oral presentations, where all speakers were college-age Swedes studying Technical English. The speech has been processed using the analysis software WaveSurfer for pitch extraction. Speaker liveliness has been measured as the standard deviation from the mean fundamental frequency over 10-second periods of speech. The standard deviations have been normal¬ized (by division with the mean frequency) to obtain a value termed the pitch dynamism quotient (PDQ). Mean values (for ten minutes of speech) of PDQ per speaker range from a low of 0.11 to a high of 0.235. Individual values for 10-second segments range from lows of 0.06 to highs of 0.36.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Venice, Italy, 2004. 63-66 p.
National Category
Computer Science Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-51815ISBN: 88-8098-202-8OAI: diva2:465110
Proc InSTIL/ICALL2004 NLP and Speech Technologies in Advanced Language Learning
tmh_import_11_12_14. QC 20120119Available from: 2011-12-14 Created: 2011-12-14 Last updated: 2012-01-19Bibliographically approved

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Hincks, Rebecca
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