Your Tone Says It All: Affective Language Production, Perception and Action


Language, prosody and social cues to affective speech are essential for successful interpretation of intent (Attardo, Eisterhold, Hay & Pogi, 2005). Nygaard and Lunders (2002) have shown that affective prosody impacts the resolution of lexical ambiguity during spoken language, yet social cues are understudied. The current studies evaluate the impact of affective prosody and social factors (e.g., gender and perceived identity through dialect) associated with the production, perception and action upon intent behind spoken language. The results from the production study suggest that affect production may involve a substantial amount of talker variability. Though there was a considerable amount of talker variability in the productions, listeners seem to easily and accurately categorize intent, thus, relying heavily on talker related cues. Therefore, it would seem that talker variability, in the form of prosodic variation and social cues influence a listener’s interpretation during the online processing intent.

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