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A Study of Human Perception of Intonation in Domestic Cat Meows

Schötz, Susanne LU and van de Weijer, Joost LU (2014) Speech Prosody 7 In Social and Linguistic Speech Prosody : Proceedings of the 7th international conference on Speech Prosody
Abstract
This study examined human listeners’ ability to classify domestic cat vocalisations (meows) recorded in two different contexts; during feeding time (food related meows) and while waiting to visit a veterinarian (vet related meows). A pitch analysis showed a tendency for food related meows to have rising F0 contours, while vet related meows tended to have more falling F0 contours. 30 listeners judged twelve meows (six of each context) in a perception test. Classification accuracy was significantly above chance, and listeners who had reported previous experience with cats performed significantly better than inexperienced listeners. Moreover, the two food related meows with the highest classification accuracy showed clear rising

F0... (More)
This study examined human listeners’ ability to classify domestic cat vocalisations (meows) recorded in two different contexts; during feeding time (food related meows) and while waiting to visit a veterinarian (vet related meows). A pitch analysis showed a tendency for food related meows to have rising F0 contours, while vet related meows tended to have more falling F0 contours. 30 listeners judged twelve meows (six of each context) in a perception test. Classification accuracy was significantly above chance, and listeners who had reported previous experience with cats performed significantly better than inexperienced listeners. Moreover, the two food related meows with the highest classification accuracy showed clear rising

F0 contours, while clear falling F0 contours characterised the two vet related meows that received the highest classification accuracy. Listeners also reported that some meows were very easy to classify, while others were more difficult. Taken together, these results suggest that cats may use different intonation patterns in their vocal interaction with humans, and that humans are able to identify the vocalisations based on intonation. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
in
Social and Linguistic Speech Prosody : Proceedings of the 7th international conference on Speech Prosody
editor
Campbell, Nick; Gibbon, Dafydd and Hirst, Daniel
conference name
Speech Prosody 7
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84904683125
ISSN
2333-2042
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a0ff22b4-4809-426f-806a-f5a7ca28100f (old id 4882231)
alternative location
http://fastnet.netsoc.ie/sp7/sp7book.pdf
date added to LUP
2014-12-18 11:31:59
date last changed
2016-10-13 04:33:24
@misc{a0ff22b4-4809-426f-806a-f5a7ca28100f,
  abstract     = {This study examined human listeners’ ability to classify domestic cat vocalisations (meows) recorded in two different contexts; during feeding time (food related meows) and while waiting to visit a veterinarian (vet related meows). A pitch analysis showed a tendency for food related meows to have rising F0 contours, while vet related meows tended to have more falling F0 contours. 30 listeners judged twelve meows (six of each context) in a perception test. Classification accuracy was significantly above chance, and listeners who had reported previous experience with cats performed significantly better than inexperienced listeners. Moreover, the two food related meows with the highest classification accuracy showed clear rising<br/><br>
F0 contours, while clear falling F0 contours characterised the two vet related meows that received the highest classification accuracy. Listeners also reported that some meows were very easy to classify, while others were more difficult. Taken together, these results suggest that cats may use different intonation patterns in their vocal interaction with humans, and that humans are able to identify the vocalisations based on intonation.},
  author       = {Schötz, Susanne and van de Weijer, Joost},
  editor       = {Campbell, Nick and Gibbon, Dafydd and Hirst, Daniel},
  issn         = {2333-2042},
  language     = {eng},
  series       = {Social and Linguistic Speech Prosody : Proceedings of the 7th international conference on Speech Prosody},
  title        = {A Study of Human Perception of Intonation in Domestic Cat Meows},
  year         = {2014},
}