losing the "gay voice"

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Thu Feb 28 22:09:21 UTC 2008

I should have kept up on the research better, but what I remember is that (a) 
there seems to be such a thing as "gay voice" in the sense that people are 
able to judge male sexual orientation correctly with some accuracy just from 
listening to them but (b) nobody knows what it is, i.e., phonological studies 
fail to reveal what it is that people are reacting to that allows them to make 
such judgments correctly.

The same goes, as I recall, for the "black voice."

I'm not sure how a speech therapist could eliminate something the relevant 
characteristics of which have not been scientifically identified.

In a message dated 2/28/08 2:41:46 PM, zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU writes:

> i've been corresponding
> with a college student who describes himself as tortured by his gay
> voice (so he's certainly motivated to learn to "talk straight"), and
> who asked about speech therapists in his area, or even (omigod)
> surgery.  i explained that there was almost surely no anatomical
> source for his speech style, and that perhaps -- big perhaps --
> therapists who dealt with "accent reduction" might be helpful.  (i
> also forwarded to him a piece by ben munson, at umn, on pathology vs.
> social indexing, written for speech-language-pathology folks rather
> than for the general public.)
> does anyone here know anything about accent reduction programs?  are
> they, or at least some of them, effective in teaching speakers of
> english as a foreign language to reduce their foreign accents, or in
> teaching native speakers to code-switch?
> arnold, who knows almost nothing about this world

Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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