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Culture and Gender of Voice Pitch

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The major task of the book is a sociophonetic exploration of voice pitch characteristics of speakers across the cultures of Japan and America. This volume makes a cogent argument for the socio-cultural role of voice pitch in the expression of emotion and politeness and how culture and gender can intersect with each other. The book tenders acoustic phonetic evidence (as well as discourse analyses) in construing how an individual’s voice pitch modulation utilized in conversational speech is reflected in this intersection as it demonstrates several methodological innovations crucial for sociophonetic research.

Observations of people’s voice pitch commonly made impressionistically not only contributed to this prosodic feature’s perceptual stereotypes, but also inform us about our attitudes towards certain voice pitch characteristics. This volume includes an extensive review of these impressionistic remarks and acoustic phonetic investigations of voice pitch initiated in the early 20th century in the two nations, the latter of which contributed to both confirming and reconsidering the former. The volume further alludes to how attitudinal differences between these cultures were found to surface in the acoustically measured voice pitch modulation patterns obtained for this volume, stressing that voice pitch is capable of revealing various socio-cultural aspects of human behaviors.

Published: Dec 31, 2008

Section Chapter Authors
List of Figures Ikuko Patricia Yuasa
List of Tables Ikuko Patricia Yuasa
Acknowledgements Ikuko Patricia Yuasa
Notes on Transcription of Japanese Ikuko Patricia Yuasa
Introduction Ikuko Patricia Yuasa
Impressionistic observations of men’s and women’s voice Ikuko Patricia Yuasa
Acoustic analyses of voice pitch Ikuko Patricia Yuasa
Comparative sociophonetic research of voice pitch Ikuko Patricia Yuasa
Voice pitch and expression of emotion Ikuko Patricia Yuasa
Voice Pitch, Politeness and Gender Ikuko Patricia Yuasa
Conclusion Ikuko Patricia Yuasa
End Matter
References Ikuko Patricia Yuasa
Index Ikuko Patricia Yuasa

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Yuasa’s contribution is unique and innovative in that it is … the first scholarly work to examine the contribution pitch range makes to the construction of identity.
Journal of Sociolinguistics