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About the project

Why human voice?

It is often said that the eyes are a window onto the human soul. Just as suggestive of inner states and traits as the eyes, however, is the human voice. Changes in the speaker's voice, and differences between speakers, can signal a wide range of different meanings (to do e.g. with attractiveness, honesty, warmth, etc.). In our project, we adopt a highly interdisciplinary approach to explore two broader areas of interest:

  • positive and negative trait assessment of vocal variation
    • vocal traits of villains and heroes
    • vocal elements of creepiness
    • vocal variation and crisis
    • vocal variation in relating positive and negative news
  • sociobiologically conditioned vocal variation
    • effects of alcohol and smoking on voice quality
    • vocal stereotypes related to alcohol and smoking

We also have the following overarching goals:

  • to approach vocal variation from a heavily interdisciplinary perspective
  • to establish an Interdisciplinary Lab at the Department of English, AU
  • to provide a platform for future interdisciplinary projects related to the human voice (and more)
  • to establish some of the challenges and benefits related to interdisciplinary research
  • to establish a research centre (Centre for Voice Studies)


This project is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation Young Research Fellowship (January 2021-December 2023).