UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Speech Science Forum - Volker Dellwo

16 May 2024, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm

Volker Dellow profile picture

Voice recognition as an integrated process in speech communication

Event Information

Open to





Rana Abu-Zhaya


Chandler House G10
Wakefield Street

While it is well known that humans have control over making their speech more intelligible (clear speech), the speech signal also carries information about the speaker’s identity. This prompts the question: can individuals control the extent to which they are recognisable by their voice and if yes, would such a function play a role in human communication? In this talk, I will provide a framework of ideas to better understand the functions of voice recognition in human communication. I will first show, why a control over voice individuality is crucial in situations in which humans interact with multiple communication partners and will outline the consequences this may have on voice identity production and perception. I will then demonstrate a conceptual framework for how speaker specific information in voice may be controlled and will provide evidence from some speaking styles in which humans appear to strategically apply vocal leveraging to heighten their chances to be recognised. The outlined scenarios underscore the need to understand voice recognition as an integrated process in speech communication.

This event will be hosted online as well: https://ucl.zoom.us/j/97718702895?pwd=UzhOcHlwMTd4NWZFWGVTNGZwTndCQT09

About the Speaker

Volker Dellwo

Associate Professor at Zurich University

Volker Dellwo is an associate Professor of Phonetics in the Phonetics & Speech Sciences Group at Zurich University. He has an MA in Phonetics from the University of Trier and a PhD in Phonetics & Communication Sciences from the University of Bonn. Volker worked at many universities as a lecturer or guest lecturer like University College London, UIMP Madrid, London City University, Greenwich University and the University of Chiang Mai. Volker is mainly interested in how humans and animals communicate through vocalisations and specialises on individual recognition in voice. Next to his academic work, he co-founded a centre for phonetic voice analysis at the University of Zurich and is part of JPFrench international, providing forensic voice analysis for legal purposes.  

More about Volker Dellwo