Vocal Indicators of Size, Shape and Body Composition in Polish Men

  • Łukasz Piotr Pawelec
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Łukasz Pawelec, Department of Anthropology, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Kozuchowska Street 5, 51-631 Wroclaw, Poland.
    Department of Anthropology, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland
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  • Katarzyna Graja
    Department of Anthropology, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland
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  • Anna Lipowicz
    Department of Anthropology, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland

    Institute of Physiotherapy and Health Sciences, Academy of Physical Education, Katowice, Poland
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Published:October 14, 2020DOI:



      From a human evolution perspective, identifying a link between physique and vocal quality could demonstrate dual signaling in terms of the health and biological condition of an individual. In this regard, this study investigates the relationship between men's body size, shape, and composition, and their vocal characteristics.

      Materials and Methods

      Eleven anthropometric measurements, using seven indices, were carried out with 80 adult Polish male participants, while the speech analysis adopted a voice recording procedure that involved phonetically recording vowels /ɑː/, /ɛː/, /iː/, /ɔː/, /uː/ to define the voice acoustic components used in Praat software.


      The relationship between voice parameters and body size/shape/composition was found. The analysis indicated that the formants and their derivatives were useful parameters for prediction of height, weight, neck, shoulder, waist, and hip circumferences. Fundamental frequency (F0) was negatively correlated with neck circumference at Adam's apple level and body height. Moreover neck circumference and F0 association was observed for the first time in this paper. The association between waist circumference and formant component showed a net effect. In addition, the formant parameters showed significant correlations with body shape, indicating a lower vocal timbre in men with a larger relative waist circumference.


      Men with lower vocal pitch had wider necks, probably a result of larynx size. Furthermore, a greater waist circumference, presumably resulting from abdominal fat distribution in men, correlated with a lower vocal timbre. While these results are inconclusive, they highlight new directions for further research.

      Key Words

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