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Perception of vocal imitations and identification of the imitated sounds






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Perception of vocal imitations and identification of the imitated sounds


Lemaitre, Guillaume (auteur)
Dessein, Arnaud (auteur)
Aura, Karine (auteur)
Susini, Patrick (auteur)


Baltimore, USA , 2010



We report two studies investigating how vocal imitations enable the recognition of the imitated sounds. First, we asked couples of participants to listen to series of everyday sounds. One of the participants (the “speaker”) had then to describe a selected sound to the other one (the “listener”), so that he could “guess” the selected sound. The results showed that, spontaneously, the speakers used, among other para-linguistic cues, large numbers of vocal imitations. Moreover, they suggested that the identification performances were increased when vocal imitations were used, compared to only verbal descriptions. Second, we sampled twenty-eight sounds across an experimental taxonomy of kitchen sounds and required laypersons to vocally imitate these sounds. Another group of participants was then required to categorize these vocal imitations, according to what they thought was imitated. A hierarchical cluster analysis showed that, overall, the categories of vocal imitations fitted well with the categories of imitated sound sources. By using finer analysis techniques, we also showed that some imitations inconsistently clustered. On the other hand, the consistent clusters of imitations were perfectly predicted by a few acoustical descriptors. We therefore conclude that vocal imitations of sounds contain enough information for the recognition of the imitated sounds.


Contribution au colloque ou congrès : 158th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America


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2010-02-11 01:00:00

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