Susanne Schötz presented her paper ‘A phonetic pilot study of vocalisations in three cats’ at the Swedish National Phonetics conference at the Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg. (2012-05-30)


538 vocalisations from three domestic cats were collected and used in a phonetic pilot study in order to test some recording and analysis methods normally used with human speech. Based on auditive analysis, the vocalisations were categorised into five types and analysed for duration and F0. The most common type was a combined murmur and miaow. Similar mean type durations were found in all three cats. Mean, minimum and maximum F0 showed an overall high variability, due to the large number of intonation patterns used in each type. One might speculate that cats signal paralinguistic – perhaps even linguistic – information by varying their F0. Neither the recording techniques nor the analysis tools used here were judged to be optimal for cat vocalisations. Future work includes a larger study of cat vo- calisations, including intonation and formants, with adapted recording and analysis methods