15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


The Description of Naturally Occurring Emotional Speech

E. Douglas-Cowie (1), R. Cowie (1), Marc Schröder (2)

(1) Queen's University of Belfast, UK
(2) DFKI GmbH, Germany

Most studies of the vocal signs of emotion depend on acted data. This paper reports the development of a vocal coding system to describe the signs of emotion in naturally occurring emotion. The system has been driven by empirical observation, not by a priori assumptions based on acted or laboratory data. The data used to develop it is the Belfast Naturalistic Database. The system takes a multi-level approach to coding, starting broad brush and moving through progressive layers to finer resolution. The first level uses broad categories which apply to each clip as a whole. Thereafter it uses a tiered approach, starting with an outer tier of relatively coarse descriptors and progressing through successive tiers to more detailed descriptors associated more precisely with locations in a clip. The coding system shows that there are vocal signs of naturally occurring emotion which have not been picked up before in acted data.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Douglas-Cowie, E. / Cowie, R. / Schröder, Marc (2003): "The description of naturally occurring emotional speech", In ICPhS-15, 2877-2880.