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Cross-cultural and cross-linguistic perception of authentic emotions through speech: An acoustic-phonetic study with Brazilian and Swedish listeners

Journal article
Authors Wellington da Silva
Plinio Barbosa
Åsa Abelin
Published in DELTA: Documentação de Estudos em Lingüística Teórica e Aplicada
Volume 32
Issue 2
Pages 449-480
ISSN 0102-4450
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science
Pages 449-480
Language en
Keywords expressive speech; basic emotions; emotional dimensions; intercultural communication
Subject categories Phonetics


This study was conducted to investigate whether the listeners' culture and mother language influence the perception of emotions through speech and which acoustic cues listeners use in this process. Swedish and Brazilian listeners were presented with authentic emotional speech samples of Brazilian Portuguese and Swedish. They judged on 5-point Likert scales the expression of basic emotions as described by eight adjectives in the utterances in Brazilian Portuguese and the expression of five emotional dimensions in the utterances in Swedish. The PCA technique revealed that two components explain more than 94% of the variance of the judges' responses in both experiments. These components were predicted through multiple linear regressions from twelve acoustic parameters automatically computed from the utterances. The results point to a similar perception of the emotions between both cultures.

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