Article Title

Cultural and language differences in voice quality perception: A preliminary investigation using synthesized signals


Background: Perceptual voice evaluation is a common clinical tool. However, to date, there is no consensus yet as to which common quality should be measured. Some available evidence shows that voice quality is a language-specific property which may be different across different languages. The familiarity of a language may affect the perception and reliability in rating voice quality.

Aims: The present study set out to investigate the effects of listeners’ cultural and language backgrounds on the perception of voice qualities.

Methods and Procedures: Forty speech pathology students from Australia and Hong Kong were asked to rate the breathy and rough qualities of synthesized voice signals in Cantonese and English.

Outcome and Results: Results showed that the English stimulus sets as a whole were rated less severely than the Cantonese stimuli by both groups of listeners. In addition, the male Cantonese and English breathy stimuli were rated differently by the Australian and Hong Kong listeners.

Conclusions and Implications: These results provided some evidence to support the claim that cultural and language backgrounds of the listeners would affect the perception for some voice quality types. Thus, the cultural and language backgrounds of judges should be taken into consideration in clinical voice evaluation.


voice assessment, perceptual voice, voice quality, dysphonia

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