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Language effects on emotion recognition in adult listeners

Faculty Advisor




language, emotion recognition

Abstract (summary)

In an increasingly multicultural society, perception and understanding of emotions expressed by talkers across different languages are important for meaningful and effective social communication. The purpose of this study is to examine language effects on listeners’ ability to recognize emotions, specifically in individuals who speak English as their first language. Adult participants listened to sentences spoken in English and Yorùbá and identified whether the talker was happy, sad, angry, or neutral. Tonal languages such as Yorùbá are characterized by more variance in pitch compared to stress-based languages such as English. Therefore, we predicted that adult participants whose first language is English will have more difficulty recognizing emotions in Yorùbá than in English. The findings of this study will have implications in expanding our knowledge about the perception of emotions in different language contexts. It will also help us understand language effects on emotion recognition in other special populations, including children impacted by hearing loss.

Publication Information



Presented on April 20, 2023 at Student Research Day held at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.

Item Type

Student Presentation



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