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By Renée van Bezooijen

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Harshness (hars): rough and rasping quality (0 = none, 5 = extremely harsh) 9. Pitch level (pitc): global impression of the average pitch level, related to the sex of the speaker (1 = extremely low, 7 = extremely high) 10. Pitch range (rang): distance between the lowest and the highest pitch (1 = extremely narrow, 7 = extremely wide) 11. 4)) (1 = extremely soft, 7 = extremely loud) 12. , the amount of speech produced per time unit, disregarding the pauses if any (1 = extremely slow, 7 = extremely fast) 13.

This has been demonstrated by the impetus given to the study of facial expressions of emotion by the recent development of comprehensive facial measurement techniques, such as Ekman and Friesen's FACS (Facial Action Coding System) (1978). Of course, acoustic descriptions may be very useful too. Acoustic measures have the advantage of being objective and well-definable. However, the value of acoustic data largely depends on what is known about their relationship to perception or physiology. This problem will be treated in more detail in Chapter 5.

From these it appeared that at least twelve vocal parameters may be relevant to distinguishing the ten emotional categories examined. This assumption seems even more plausible as in general the correlations between the ratings on the different parameters were not very high. It is not likely, however, that all parameters would be equally important, nor is it necessarily true that the four parameters on which most knowledge has been gathered to date, namely pitch level, pitch range, tempo, and loudness, are also the most important ones for communicating emotional meaning.

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