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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Query Details

Query Subject:   Query: Chinese
Author:   Johanna Rubba
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Phonetics

Query:   Hi everybody;

I'm a phonetician currently working on a project involving synthetic speech
for telecommunication services.
For some time I've been wondering about how people react to synthetic
speech, but I do not know of any studies/research carried out on the topic.

What I would like to know is whether there has been any research done on
the perception of synthetic speech. How do people react when they encounter
a synthetic voice on the phone when booking their airplane tickets, for
instance? I would also like to hear personal experiences on the topic.
I am mainly interested in synthetic speech on the phone, but I welcome
anything related to this topic! If anyone should have
material/experiences/references on reactions to prerecorded voices employed
in telecommunicational purposes, I am interested in that as well.
The assumption that I seem to share with many others is that people will
react negatively when they realize that they are conversing with a machine.
Do people react negatively to synthetic speech as a general rule?
If so, what triggers the negative response?
Are there certain spectral features that are especially prominent in
trigging the negative response? By using the term ''negative response'' I
mean to cover experiences of frustration, anger, fright, etc.
If somebody could help me out, I'd be much obliged! I will post a summary
if I receive enough responses.


Bente Henrikka Moxness
Research Assistant
Dept. of Linguistics
NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
7055 Dragvoll
Tel: +47 73 59 15 16
Fax: +47 73 59 61 19
e-mail: benmox@alfa.itea.ntnu.no
LL Issue: 8.574
Date posted: 22-Apr-1997


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