Perception of speaker age in children's voices


  • Peter F. Assmann School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX 75083-0688, United States
  • Terrance M. Nearey Department of Linguistics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E7, Canada


Chronological age, Linear functions, Phonetic properties, Quadratic function, Speech sounds


A sample of speech sounds spoken by children ranging in age from 5 to 18 years were presented to adult listeners to investigate the interaction between indexical and phonetic properties. The stimuli were recorded syllables and sentences drawn from a vowel database of 208 children ranging in age from 5 to 18 years. In the syllable condition, 140 speakers contributed 3 syllables for a total of 420 stimuli. Stimuli were presented monaurally using earphones with Tucker-Davis System 3 and RP2.1 hardware. Age judgments showed a fairly close match to chronological age across the age range for boys, but progressively underestimated chronological age for older girls, with the discrepancy reaching nearly four years on average by age 18. perceived age judgments are found to fit well by a quadratic function although age judgments for boys' voices were close to a linear function of age.




How to Cite

Assmann PF, Nearey TM. Perception of speaker age in children’s voices. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2012 Sep. 1 [cited 2022 Dec. 9];40(3):10-1. Available from:



Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada

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