Tritone Pradox (Sheila Williams )

Subject: Tritone Pradox
From:    Sheila Williams  <S.Williams(at)DCS.SHEFFIELD.AC.UK>
Date:    Wed, 27 Oct 1993 15:32:00 GMT

Renee van Bezooijen at the Department of General Linguistics and Dialectology, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands has carried out various studies on pitch in Dutch dialects and presented a poster at Eurospeech 93 in Berlin. The poster at Berlin was about perceptions of personality characteristics linked with pitch of women's speech but I think her research encompasses a much wider range of issues than that. In British English there is a noticeable difference in average pitch independent of speaker size, with some Scottish dialects typically having fairly high pitch for males and South Yorkshire typically being low average for males. There is a (relatively small) database of speakers with a "general Northern Accent" which Sandra Whiteside (s.whiteside(at) used for her thesis on "The Analysis and Synthesis of Women's Voices". There is also a pitch related interaction with syntax in Welsh dialects which take their intonation contours from the Welsh language patterns and so have much more limited usage of pitch contour to switch from statement to question. I guess these people might be able to answer your questions in more detail. A recurrent theme of British Humour is that men don't understand "tones of voice" which are just some trick of women to always put them in the wrong. Sheila Williams

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