Could Function-Specific Prosodic Cues Be Used As a Basis for Non-Speech User Interface Sound Design?
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It is widely accepted that the nonverbal parts of vocal expression perform very important functions in vocal communication. Certain acoustic qualities in a vocal utterance can effectively communicate one's emotions and intentions to another person. This study examines the possibilities of using such prosodic qualities of vocal expressions (in human interaction) in order to design effective non-speech user interface sounds. In an empirical setting, utterances with four context-situated communicative functions were gathered from 20 participants. Time series of fundamental frequency (F0 ) and intensity were extracted from the utterances and analysed sta- tistically. Results show that individual communicative functions have distinct prosodic characteristics in respect of pitch contour and intensity. This implies that function-specific prosodic cues can be imitated in the design of communicative interface sounds for the corresponding functions in human-computer interaction.