Speech Prosody 2014

“A little more ironic” Voice quality and segmental reduction differences between sarcastic and neutral utterances

Oliver Niebuhr
The presented production experiment analyzes the phonetic differences between neutral (i.e. sincere) and sarcastically ironic utterances in German. Results show in line with previous studies that sarcastic irony is expressed by longer utterance durations, lower and flatter F0 contours, and a lower intensity level. Moreover, extending previous findings, sarcastic irony is also characterized by a more variable (in tendency breathier) voice quality and a higher degree of segmental reduction, probably reflecting the speakers’ dissociation from the wording of their utterances.