This study examined human listeners’ ability to classify domestic cat vocalisations (meows) recorded in two different contexts; during feeding time (food related meows) and while waiting to visit a veterinarian (vet related meows). A pitch analysis showed a tendency for food related meows to have rising F0 contours, while vet related meows tended to have more falling F0 contours. 30 listeners judged twelve meows (six of each context) in a perception test. Classification accuracy was significantly above chance, and listeners who had reported previous experience with cats performed significantly better than inexperienced listeners. Moreover, the two food related meows with the highest classification accuracy showed clear rising
F0 contours, while clear falling F0 contours characterised the two vet related meows that received the highest classification accuracy. Listeners also reported that some meows were very easy to classify, while others were more difficult. Taken together, these results suggest that cats may use different intonation patterns in their vocal interaction with humans, and that humans are able to identify the vocalisations based on intonation.
|Title of host publication||Social and Linguistic Speech Prosody : Proceedings of the 7th international conference on Speech Prosody|
|Editors||Nick Campbell, Dafydd Gibbon, Daniel Hirst|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
|Event||Speech Prosody 7 - Dublin, Ireland|
Duration: 2014 May 20 → 2014 May 23
|Conference||Speech Prosody 7|
|Period||2014/05/20 → 2014/05/23|
The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003), Humanities Lab (015101200)
- General Language Studies and Linguistics