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Intonation features of the expression of emotions in Spanish: preliminary study for a prosody assessment procedure

By P Martinez-Castilla and Sue JE Peppé


This study aimed to find out what intonation features reliably represent the emotions of "liking" as opposed to "disliking" in the Spanish language, with a view to designing a prosody assessment procedure for use with children with speech and language disorders. 18 intonationally different prosodic realisations (tokens) of one word (limón) were recorded by one native Spanish speaker. The tokens were deemed representative of two categories of emotion: liking or disliking of the taste "lemon". 30 native Spanish speakers assigned them to the two categories and rated their expressiveness on a six-point scale. For all tokens except two, agreement between judges as to category was highly significant, some tokens attracting 100% agreement. The intonation contours most related to expressiveness levels were: for "liking", an inverted U form contour with exaggerated pitch peak within the tonic syllable; and for "disliking", a flat melodic contour with a slight fall

Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Year: 2008
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