The development of gendered speech in children and adolescents: a cross-linguistic study of English and Mandarin voice onset time

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McKenzie, Graham Kado
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Department of Psychology
Stop consonant production has been shown to vary with speaker’s sex, but cross-language developmental studies are lacking to explain how sex-specific speech patterns come about independent of a specific-language context. In this research, I examined English- and Mandarin-speaking children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 to determine cross-language similarities and differences via measuring the voice onset time (VOT) of their stop productions. VOT of word-initial /t/ and /d/ in Mandarin, and /t, d, p, b, k, g/ in English was measured and normalized by vowel and word duration to control for speech rate. An overall sex difference was found for both languages. This difference was much more robust in Mandarin than in English. Developmental trends and cross-language comparison suggest that males and females utilize VOT for gender-specific production to varying degrees in a different culture.
English , Mandarin , sex specific speech , gender , gendered speech , cross language comparison , phonetic production , speech acoustics , psychology , psycholinguistics , additive mediative model , speech development , stop consonants , Linguistics , English language -- Consonants , English language -- Phonetics , English language -- Sex differences , English language -- Age differences , English language -- Spoken English , Mandarin dialects -- Consonants , Mandarin dialects -- Phonetics , Mandarin dialects -- Sex differences , Mandarin dialects -- Age differences , Mandarin dialects -- Spoken Mandarin , Consonants , Dissertations, Academic