Gender and aging effects on the recognition of emotional speech

Emotional speech carries vital information of the speaker. But to what extent do female and male, young and middle-aged Iranians recognize these emotional cues in Farsi sentences?

Project No. G 310

Niloofar Keshtiari

Universality versus cultural relativity of emotional recognition is one of the most discussed topics in the study of emotions. Contributing to this specific area of research, I investigate whether there is any difference between Iranian men and women (both young and middle-aged) in the recognition of emotional speech and compare my results with those of a similar German study by Paulmann and colleagues (2008). I have hypothesized that H1: Women recognize emotional speech better than men, and H2: The young recognize a same emotional speech differently from the middle-aged.

To test my hypotheses, I will make the first comprehensive emotional speech database for Persian (Farsi) including the six basic emotional categories (anger, disgust, fear, happy, pleasant, surprise, and sadness plus neutral). The stimulus material will be analyzed both acoustically (using Praat) and subjectively (in a pre-test session) to make sure of the accuracy of the database.

To carry out the experimental task the Event-related Run Time System (ERTS) will be used, where the subjects (120 natives, divided into four groups of men vs. women, young vs. middle-aged) are asked to listen to the stimuli and classify them into one of the seven mentioned emotional categories. Finally the results will be compared to that of similar German study (Paulmann et al., 2008) to recognize the similarities and differences of German and Farsi speakers regarding the recognition of emotional speech.

Discipline

Linguistics

Supervisor

Prof. Dr. Gisela Klann-Delius

Prof. Dr. Maria Macuch

Dr. Moharram Eslami