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Phonetic Variation in Cat–Human Communication

Abstract

In this chapter, the phonetic variation of the vocal communication between domestic cats and humans is summarised and described, based on previous research as well as more recent studies and observations. Emphasis lies on classifying and describing the different vocalisation types of the cat using phonetic methods and terminology. The articulation, phonetic transcription and acoustic patterns of the most common vocalisation types are described. In addition, the segments (vowel and consonants), the prosody (the tone, intonation, rhythm and dynamics) of cat sounds as well as human perception of cat vocalisations is summarised.

Keywords

  • Cat–human communication
  • Cat vocalisations
  • Phonetic description and transcription of cat sounds

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Acknowledgements

The author gratefully acknowledges the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation and Lund University Humanities Lab. The cat vocalisation categories described here are accompanied by video and audio examples that can be found on the project website meowsic.se under cat sounds.

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Correspondence to Susanne Schötz .

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Schötz, S. (2020). Phonetic Variation in Cat–Human Communication. In: Pastorinho, M., Sousa, A. (eds) Pets as Sentinels, Forecasters and Promoters of Human Health. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-30734-9_14

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