14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

Perceptual Recognition of Familiar Voices using Falsetto as a Type of Voice Disguise

Isolde Wagner, Olaf Köster

Bundeskriminalamt, Speaker Identification Department, Wiesbaden, Germany

This paper discusses the use of falsetto phonation as a form of voice disguise. A perceptual recognition experiment has been carried out. In a naming task it was tested whether phonetically untrained listeners are able to identify familiar speakers when falsetto disguise is involved. It was found that overall performance of identification is very high for the normal speaking condition but significantly lowered for the condition of falsetto phonation. Recognition rates are reduced from 97% in the case of undisguised voices to merely 4% for falsetto as a disguise technique. The results of this experiment are in accordance with the findings of earlier studies on the recognition of different types of disguised voices and confirm the importance of phonetically trained experts in the analysis of disputed speech material.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Wagner, Isolde / Köster, Olaf (1999): "Perceptual recognition of familiar voices using falsetto as a type of voice disguise", In ICPhS-14, 1381-1384.