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Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research 3/2022

20-05-2021 | Original Article

Effects of intention in the imitation of sung and spoken pitch

Auteurs: Peter Q. Pfordresher, James T. Mantell, Tim A. Pruitt

Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research | Uitgave 3/2022

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Abstract

Pitch content is an important component of song and speech. Previous studies have shown a pronounced advantage for imitation of sung pitch over spoken pitch. However, it is not clear to what extent matching of pitch in production depends on one’s intention to imitate pitch. We measured the effects of intention to imitate on matching of produced pitch in both vocal domains. Participants imitated pitch content in speech and song stimuli intentionally (“imitate the pitch”) and incidentally (“repeat the words”). Our results suggest that the song advantage exists independently of whether participants explicitly intend to imitate pitch. This result supports the notion that the song advantage reflects pitch salience in the stimulus. On the other hand, participants were more effective at suppressing the imitation of pitch for song than for speech. This second result suggests that it is easier to dissociate phonetic content from pitch in the context of song than in speech. Analyses of individual differences showed that intention to imitate pitch had larger effects for individuals who tended to match pitch overall in production, independent of intentions. Taken together, the results help to illuminate the psychological processes underlying intentional and automatic vocal imitation processes.
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Voetnoten
1
We did not design our study to compare individuals of different language backgrounds, but we ultimately compared the imitative performances of tonal language talkers to non-tonal language talkers. However, our statistical analyses did not reveal any significant differences (possibly because these analyses were underpowered). The effect sizes associated with language were very small (η2p ≤ .01).
 
2
The stimuli are available online at https://​osf.​io/​d3j5b/​
 
3
Specifically, the total duration of each speech item was increased by 30% of the difference between that item and its paired song, whereas the total duration of each song item was decreased by 70% of this difference. Pitch was unaffected by the temporal manipulations.
 
4
Results of trials with masking noise are available in supplementary materials.
 
5
A similar pattern of results was found if the suppression effect was defined using differences across Blocks 1 and 3.
 
6
Similar results were found when the suppression effect was defined by the difference between Blocks 1 and 3.
 
7
As pointed out by a reviewer, this effect could also be related to the overall better performance of song imitation relative to the null distribution. Although this explanation is plausible for the analysis of pitch deviation scores (Fig. 3) it is less likely for pitch correlation scores, given that speech imitation well exceeded the null distribution in every condition for that measure.
 
Literatuur
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Metagegevens
Titel
Effects of intention in the imitation of sung and spoken pitch
Auteurs
Peter Q. Pfordresher
James T. Mantell
Tim A. Pruitt
Publicatiedatum
20-05-2021
Uitgeverij
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Gepubliceerd in
Psychological Research / Uitgave 3/2022
Print ISSN: 0340-0727
Elektronisch ISSN: 1430-2772
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-021-01527-0