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Acoustic cues to femininity and masculinity in spontaneous speech
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Speech and Language Therapy.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3373-0934
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Speech and Language Therapy.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8618-4987
Division of Speech and Language Pathology, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Medical Unit Allied Health Professionals, Section Speech and Language Pathology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2520-4520
2024 (English)In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, ISSN 0001-4966, E-ISSN 1520-8524, Vol. 155, no 5, p. 3090-3100Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The perceived level of femininity and masculinity is a prominent property by which a speaker’s voice is indexed, and a vocal expression incongruent with the speaker’s gender identity can greatly contribute to gender dysphoria. Our understanding of the acoustic cues to the levels of masculinity and femininity perceived by listeners in voices is not well developed, and an increased understanding of them would benefit communication of therapy goals and evaluation in gender-affirming voice training. We developed a voice bank with 132 voices with a range of levels of femininity and masculinity expressed in the voice, as rated by 121 listeners in independent, individually randomized perceptual evaluations. Acoustic models were developed from measures identified as markers of femininity or masculinity in the literature using penalized regression and tenfold cross-validation procedures. The 223 most important acoustic cues explained 89% and 87% of the variance in the perceived level of femininity and masculinity in the evaluation set, respectively. The median fo was confirmed to provide the primary cue, but other acoustic properties must be considered in accurate models of femininity and masculinity perception. The developed models are proposed to afford communication and evaluation of gender-affirming voice training goals and improve voice synthesis efforts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Institute of Physics (AIP), 2024. Vol. 155, no 5, p. 3090-3100
National Category
Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Oto-Rhino-Laryngology; language studies; Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-224137DOI: 10.1121/10.0025932ISI: 001215860700004PubMedID: 38717212Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85192627110OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-224137DiVA, id: diva2:1856918
Available from: 2024-05-08 Created: 2024-05-08 Last updated: 2024-06-13Bibliographically approved

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Nylén, FredrikHolmberg, Jenny

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