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The elderly voice: relationship between pleasantness and prosodic features

Grant number: 13/02990-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2013
Effective date (End): December 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Speech Therapy
Principal Investigator:Eliana Maria Gradim Fabbron
Grantee:Mizuho Shukuri
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências (FFC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Marília. Marília , SP, Brazil

Abstract

A study noted that the highest loudness and pitch variation were important features of expressiveness in the speech of older teachers. These resources were related to the judgment of the pleasantness of these elderly voices. This project aims to study the prosodic resources used in the speech of older women who have had their voices judged as more or less pleasant. It is a continuation of the Santos (2012) research and it is justified by the need to better understand the opinions that listeners have regarding the voices of the elderly. The social inclusion of the elderly has become a constant pursuit of public policies and various sectors of society. The best form of expression should be thought by speech therapists in their clinical practice when working with the elderly and their social integration. Thus, the results of this project will provide the design proposals for speech therapy both in clinical care, as in the proposition of prevention and health promotion for older people, to be developed collectively. The overall goal of this work is to investigate the influence of prosodic features used by the elderly, in the judgment of vocal pleasantness and, in assigning positive or negative adjectives to them. The sample will consist of 8 recordings of older women, aged 60 and 82, who have had their voices judged the work of Santos (2012), in relation to the allocation of pleasantness and adjectives referring to his person. All recordings are stored in the compendium of voices Laboratory of Acoustic Analysis (LAAC), UNESP, Campus de Marilia. The first group of participants (G1) will consist of four voices in the trial who received the highest scores in relation to the allocation and vocal pleasantness of adjectives, and group 2 (G2) will consist of four voices that received the lowest scores in relation to the vocal pleasantness and the allocation of adjectives trial that held. Three speech therapists experienced in voice assessment will make the perceptual evaluation of the prosodic features used by the elderly. Speech Therapists will receive a CD, organized by means of a draw, containing recordings of a standard text and a sheet of notes, considering the main aspects to be studied: change in pitch (up and down), loudness, pause, and speech rate. There will also be held acoustic analysis measures aimed at observing the variations of prosodic resources used by the elderly: changes in average pitch, average loudness variations, amount and duration of pauses, and speech rate per minute. The data found in the evaluations will be presented in a descriptive and correlation analysis will be performed to check if there is any relationship between vocal pleasantness and adjectives attributed to the elderly and prosodic features studied. (AU)

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