Vowel convergence does not affect auditory speaker discriminability in humans and machine in a case study on Swiss German dialects
Keywords:phonetic convergence, vowel acoustics, speaker discrimination, automatic speaker verification, Swiss German dialects
In this study, we examined whether the convergence in interlocutors’ vowel acoustics leads to decreasing discriminability between interlocutors’ voices. Ten pairs of Grison and Zürich German speakers produced lexical items before and after dialogue interactions with evidence of vowel convergence in post-dialogue productions. In Experiment 1, native and non-native Swiss German listeners discriminated pairs of speakers whose speech was obtained pre- and post-dialogue. Results showed that listeners’ sensitivity (A’) was higher for native than non-native listeners, but comparable for pre- and post-dialogue recordings. The observed negative correlation between voice discrimination and the acoustic distance in formant space was mainly driven by a single speaker pair. In Experiment 2, the speaker recognition performance of an i-vector-based software was compared in pre- and post-dialogue speech. Results revealed no difference in the system performance between the two conditions. The findings suggest that vowel convergence does not compromise voice discriminability under the given experimental conditions.
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