Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Psychoacoustic studies on the processing of vocal interjections: how to disentangle lexical and prosodic information?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kai Alter


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Both intonation (affective prosody) and lexical meaning of verbal utterances participate in the vocal expression of a speaker's emotional state, an important aspect of human communication. However, it is still a matter of debate how the information of these two 'channels' is integrated during speech perception. In order to further analyze the impact of affective prosody on lexical access, so-called interjections, i.e., short verbal emotional utterances, were investigated. The results of a series of psychoacoustic studies indicate the processing of emotional interjections to be mediated by a divided cognitive mechanism encompassing both lexical access and the encoding of prosodic data. Emotional interjections could be separated into elements with high- or low-lexical content. As concerns the former items, both prosodic and propositional cues have a significant influence upon recognition rates, whereas the processing of the low-lexical cognates rather solely depends upon prosodic information. Incongruencies between lexical and prosodic data structures compromise stimulus identification. Thus, the analysis of utterances characterized by a dissociation of the prosodic and lexical dimension revealed prosody to exert a stronger impact upon listeners' judgments than lexicality. Taken together, these findings indicate that both propositional and prosodic speech components closely interact during speech perception. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dietrich S, Ackermann H, Szameitat DP, Alter K

Editor(s): S. Anders, G. Ende, M. Junghofer, J. Kissler, D. Wildgruber

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Understanding emotions

Year: 2006

Volume: 156

Pages: 295-302

Print publication date: 01/01/2006

Series Title: Progress in Brain Research

Publisher: Elsevier

Place Published: Netherlands


DOI: 10.1016/S0079-6123(06)56016-9

PubMed id: 17015087

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780444521828