We introduce the Vocal Expressions of Nineteen Emotions across Cultures (VENEC) corpus and present results from initial evaluation efforts using a novel method of annotating emotion appraisals. The VENEC corpus consists of 100 professional actors from 5 English speaking cultures (USA, India, Kenya, Singapore, and Australia) who vocally expressed 19 different affects/emotions (affection, amusement, anger, contempt, disgust, distress, fear, guilt, happiness, interest, lust, negative surprise, neutral, positive surprise, pride, relief, sadness, serenity, and shame), each with 3 levels of emotion intensity, by enacting finding themselves in various emotion-eliciting situations. In all, the corpus contains approximately 6,500 stimuli offering great variety of expressive styles for each emotion category due to speaker, culture, and emotion intensity effects. All stimuli have further been acoustically analyzed regarding pitch, intensity, voice quality, and durational cues. In the appraisal rating study, listeners rated a selection of VENEC-stimuli with regard to the characteristics of the emotion eliciting situation, described in terms of 8 emotion appraisal dimensions (novelty, intrinsic pleasantness, goal conduciveness, urgency, power, self- and other-responsibility, and norm compatibility). First, results showed that the inter-rater reliability was acceptable for all scales except responsibility. Second, the perceived appraisal profiles for the different vocal expressions were generally in accord with predictions based on appraisal theory. Finally, listeners’ appraisal ratings on each scale were significantly correlated with several acoustic characteristics. The results show that listeners can reliably infer several aspects of emotion-eliciting situations from vocal affect expressions, and thus suggest that vocal affect expressions may carry cognitive representational information.
Valetta, Malta: European Language Resources Association , 2010. 53-57 p.