1:10 pm -
2:40 pm

Acoustic manifestations of speech register – Special session at ICPhS

Organized by:

Importance of the topic and objectives of the proposed session: Speech register is defined as the socially recurring situational and functional variation in speech. Aspects of the situational and functional setup include foremost the speaker but just as importantly the addressee and the content of the message, that must be conveyed. And on what aspects does a speaker gauge a situation to mediate between all these aspects? While it is well known that human listeners interpret speech beyond the communicative intent (e.g. having implicit biases based on speakers’ looks, to this date, it is hardly understood how speakers modulate their speech as a reaction to an estimation of who the addressee is (i.e. social status, age etc.), how social norms require how polite or formal s/he must be spoken to or what aspects of the situation warrants specific linguistic behaviour.

The objective of this panel is to bring together a group of researchers working in sociophonetics, exploring recurring situational and functional variation. Also of interest is the interface of speech production, stance and attitude, social identity, role of addressee and social meaning. We aim at exploring and discussing the methodologies and results of multimodal experiments investigating speech variability and speech interpretation and its impact on modelling human-to-human and eventually human-machine interaction. We hope to increase our knowledge of how these two complex systems of human sociality and language interact to understand the workings of adaptation processes, how and in what way situation or function of a discourse and even space relates to changes in fine phonetic detail. How do stereotypes of addressees, assumed levels of formality or politeness, or special requirements of a situation affect speech production, and just what kinds of cues trigger or undo social clichés that are based on language external factors? This is an important new emerging area of interest related to the main conference topic “Intermingling Communities and Changing Cultures” as the influence of inferences on the social situation or social factors relating to the interlocutor are largely underexplored with regard to changes in phonetic implementation.

See conference website for more information:
ICPhS special session 9: Acoustic manifestations of speech register