The effect of spectral manipulations on the identification of affective and linguistic prosody

Kala Lakshminarayanan, Dorit Ben Shalom, Virginie Van Wassenhove, Diana Orbelo, John Houde, David Poeppel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the effect of various spectral manipulations on the identification of sentential prosody. Two main categories of prosody - affective (happy, angry, sad) and linguistic (statement, question, continuation) - were studied. Thirty-six subjects were presented with stimuli that were recorded by a female native speaker of American English. The stimuli were digitally manipulated to create synthesized, band-pass filtered (F0-range and F2/F3-range) and re-entrant (pitch only version of stimulus is convolved with a steady-state signal) conditions. Results of a forced-choice discrimination paradigm showed that, in general, performance is remarkably robust despite spectral manipulation, even when there is relatively little spectral information. However, performance was significantly degraded in the low band-pass and re-entrant conditions. These observations are discussed in light of the relevance of the fundamental frequency as well as syllabification for the analysis of prosodic information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-263
Number of pages14
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2003


  • Filtered speech
  • Fundamental frequency
  • Intonation
  • Prosody
  • Re-entrant
  • Spectral cues
  • Speech perception
  • Syllabification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing


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