Perception of voice quality by bilingual Brazilians

Ana Paula Petriu Ferreira Engelbert, Denise Cristina Kluge


Studies show that bilingual speakers can change their voices when they speak an L2 compared to their L1. It remains to be seen whether these differences are perceived by listeners. Thus, the present study addresses the perception of voice quality by Brazilian bilingual listeners in Brazilian Portuguese (PB) and English (IN)  speech samples produced by  Brazilian bilingual speakers. This objective was reached by means of a discrimination test of the PB and IN voices of the same speaker. The listeners judged whether the voices were the same or different, describing their characteristics if they were different. The results pointed to certain variability in the judgments, but also showed that listeners are able to identify differences in pitch and intensity between languages, as well as attribute personality and emotion characteristics to speech in both languages.  


Voice quality; Perception; Bilingual speech


CHEN, S. X., BOND, M. H. Two languages, two personalities? Examining language effects on the expression of personality in a bilingual context. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 1514-1528, 2010.

CRYSTAL, D. Paralinguistics. In BENTHALL, J,; POLHEMUS, H. (Eds) The Body as a Medium of Expression. New York: Dutton, 1975

ENGELBERT, A. P. P. F.; KLUGE, D. C.; SILVA, A. H. P. Línguas diferentes, vozes distintas: evidências da fala de bilíngues em português e inglês. Ilha do Desterro, v. 69, nº1, p. 033-048, 2016.

ENGELMANN, A. A psicologia da Gestalt e a ciência empírica contemporânea. Psicologia: Teoria e Pesquisa, vol 18 (1), p. 1-16, 2002.

ESLING, J. Voice Quality. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Wiley Online Library, p.1-7, 2013.

GOGGIN, J., THOMPSON, C., StTRUBE, G., SIMENTAL, L. The role of language familiarity in voice identification. Memory Cognition, 19 (5), 448–458, 1991.

KREIMAN, J. Human Memory for Unfamiliar Voices. Tese de Doutorado não-publicada. Chicago-IL, University of Chicago, 1987.

KREIMAN, J.; GERRATT, B. R. Validity of rating scale measures of voice quality. Journal of the Acoustic Society of America, 104 (3), 1589-1608, 1998.

KREIMAN, J.; VANLACKER-SIDTIS, D.; GERRATT, B. R. Perception of voice quality. IN PISONI, D.B,; REMEZ, R.E (eds) Handbook of Speech Perception. Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 338–362, 2005.

KREIMAN, J.; GERRATT, B. R.; ANTONANZAS-BARROSO, N. Measures of glottal source spectrum. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 50, 595–610, 2007.

KREIMAN, J.; SIDTIS, D. Foundations of Voice Studies: An Inter-disciplinary Approach to Voice Production and Perception. Wiley-Black-well, Walden, MA, pp. 1–518, 2011.

LEE, B.; SIDTIS, D. V. L. The bilingual voice: vocal characteristics when speaking two languages across speech tasks. Speech, Language and Hearing, vol. 20 (3), 174-185, 2017.

RAUBER, A., RATO, A., KLUGE, D.C.; SANTOS, G. R.; FIGUEIREDO, M. TP – Teste de Percepção. Versão. 3.1, 2012.

WESTER, M., DINES, J., GIBSON, M., LIANG, H., WU, Y.-J., SAHEER, L., KING, S., OURA, K., GARNER, P., BYRNE, W., GUAN, Y., HIRSIMA, T., KARHILA, R., KURIMO, M., SHANNON, M., SHIOTA, S., TIAN, J., TOKUDA, K., YAMAGISHI, J. Speaker adaptation and the evaluation of speaker similarity in the EMIME speech-to-speech translation project. In Proc. 7th ISCA Speech Synthesis Workshop, Kyoto, Japan, Setembro de 2010.

WESTER, M. Talker Discrimination Across Languages. Speech Communication, 54, p. 781-790, 2012.

WINTERS, S., LEVI, S., PISONI, D. Identification and discrimination of bilingual talkers across languages. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 123 (6), 4524-4538, 2008.


Copyright (c) 2018 Ana Paula Petriu Ferreira Engelbert, Denise Cristina Kluge

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.