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Vocal Fundamental Frequency and Sound Pressure Level in Charismatic Speech: A Cross-Gender and -Language Study

Abstract : Objectives/HypothesesCharismatic leaders use vocal behavior to persuade their audience, achieve goals, arouse emotional states, and convey personality traits and leadership status. This study investigates voice fundamental frequency (f0) and sound pressure level (SPL) in female and male French, Italian, Brazilian, and American politicians to determine which acoustic parameters are related to cross-gender and cross-cultural common vocal abilities, and which derive from culture-, gender-, and language-specific vocal strategies used to adapt vocal behavior to listeners’ culture-related expectations.Study DesignSpeech corpora were collected for two formal communicative contexts (leaders address followers or other leaders) and one informal communicative context (dyadic interaction), based on the persuasive goals inherent in each context and on the relative status of the listeners and speakers. Leaders’ acoustic voice profiles were created to show differences in f0 and SPL manipulation with respect to speakers’ gender and language in each communicative context.ResultsCross-gender and cross-language similarities in manipulation of average f0 and in f0 and SPL ranges occurred in all communicative contexts. Patterns of f0 manipulation were shared across genders and cultures, suggesting this dimension might be biologically based and is exploited by leaders to convey dominance. Ranges for f0 and SPL seemed to be affected by the communicative context, being wider or narrower depending on the persuasive goal. Results also showed language- and speaker-specific differences in the acoustic manipulation of f0 and SPL over time.ConclusionsThese findings are consistent with the idea that specific charismatic leaders’ vocal behaviors depend on a fine combination of vocal abilities that are shared across cultures and genders, combined with culturally- and linguistically-filtered vocal strategies.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 22, 2022 - 3:41:14 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 22, 2022 - 3:41:16 PM

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Rosario Signorello, Didier Demolin, Nathalie Henrich Bernardoni, Bruce Gerratt, Zhaoyan Zhang, et al.. Vocal Fundamental Frequency and Sound Pressure Level in Charismatic Speech: A Cross-Gender and -Language Study. Journal of Voice, Elsevier, 2020, 34 (5), pp.808.e1-808.e13. ⟨10.1016/j.jvoice.2019.04.007⟩. ⟨hal-02429571⟩

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