ASA 124th Meeting New Orleans 1992 October

1aSP14. Contributions of voice-source and vocal-tract characteristics to speaker identity.

J. H. Eggen

S. G. Nooteboom

A. J. M. Houtsma

Inst. for Perception Res./IPO, P. O. Box 513, NL 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands

A study was done on whether a voice-source model, in particular the Liljencrants--Fant model, codes information that is used by listeners to identify speakers by their voices. Automatic analysis/resynthesis techniques were used to generate so-called hybrid vowels for which the voice-source characteristics of one speaker are combined with the vocal-tract characteristics of another speaker. Listeners who were trained to recognize the speakers by their natural utterances, had to indicate which speaker they thought had produced the hybrid stimulus. It was found that there is no general rule that vocal-tract information contributes more to perceived speaker identity than voice-source information. Sometimes vocal-tract information is more important, sometimes voice-source information. The results fit the subjective cues that listeners reported they had been using to perform the speaker identification task quite well. Besides the expected importance of the vocal-tract filter, the spectral balance between high- and low-frequency components of the voice-source spectrum and the flutter of F[sub 0] proved to be important perceptual cues for speaker identity.