Prosodic encoding of sarcasm at the sentence level in Dutch

Nelleke Jansen, Aoju Chen

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review


This study investigated the prosodic characteristics of sarcastic speech in Dutch. Twenty native speakers of Dutch produced sentences in a sarcastic and sincere way in a simulated telephone conversation task. Prosodic analysis at the sentence-level shows that in Dutch sarcasm is characterised by a longer duration, lower intensity, and less vocal noise compared to sincere speech. Utterance type and speaker gender influence the use of pitch and duration to realise sarcasm: pitch is lowered in some utterance types but raised in others, and female speakers expand pitch span, while male speakers use greater durational differences. These findings can partly be explained by referring to an emphasis-based theory of sarcastic prosody, whereby speakers draw attention to what is said by using a slower speech rate and clearer voice, and a distancing hypothesis, whereby speakers lower the intensity and pitch to distance themselves from the lexical meaning of the utterance.
Originele taal-2English
TitelProceedings of the 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020
Aantal pagina's5
StatusPublished - 2020
Extern gepubliceerdJa
Evenement10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020
- Tokyo, Japan
Duur: 25-mei-202028-mei-2020

Publicatie series

NaamProceedings of the International Conference on Speech Prosody
ISSN van geprinte versie2333-2042


Conference10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020

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