Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Pace, Emotion, and Language Tonality on Speech-to-song Illusion

Version 1 : Received: 29 August 2018 / Approved: 30 August 2018 / Online: 30 August 2018 (10:37:13 CEST)

How to cite: Leung, C.; Zhou, D.R. Pace, Emotion, and Language Tonality on Speech-to-song Illusion. Preprints 2018, 2018080522. Leung, C.; Zhou, D.R. Pace, Emotion, and Language Tonality on Speech-to-song Illusion. Preprints 2018, 2018080522.


The speech-to-song illusion is a type of auditory illusion that the repetition of a part of a sentence would change people’s perception tendency from speech-like to song-like. The study aims to examine how pace, emotion, and language tonality affect people’s experience of the speech-to-song illusion. It uses a between-subject (Pace: fast, normal, vs. slow) and within-subject (Emotion: positive, negative, vs. neutral; language tonality: tonal language vs. non-tonal language) design. Sixty Hong Kong college students were randomly assigned to one of the three conditions characterized by pace. They listened to 12 audio stimuli, each with repetitions of a short excerpt, and rated their subjective perception of the presented phrase, whether it sounded like a speech or a song, on a five-point Likert-scale. Paired-sample t-tests and repeated measures ANOVAs were used to analyze the data. The findings reveal that a faster speech pace could strengthen the tendency of the speech-to-song illusion. Neither emotion nor language tonality show a statistically significant influence on the speech-to-song illusion. This study suggests that the perception of sound should be in a continuum and facilitates the understanding of song production in which speech can turn into music by having repetitive phrases and to be played in a relatively fast pace.


speech-to-song illusion, auditory illusion, perception, pace, emotion, language tonality


Social Sciences, Cognitive Science

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