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Culture and Gender of Voice Pitch A Sociophonetic Comparison of the Japanese and Americans by Ikuko Patricia Yuasa

Culture and Gender of Voice Pitch A Sociophonetic Comparison of the Japanese and Americans


Culture and Gender of Voice Pitch A Sociophonetic Comparison of the Japanese and Americans by Ikuko Patricia Yuasa

The major task of this 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.

About the Author

Ikuko Patricia Yuasa is Assistant Professor of Japanese sociolinguistics teaching in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Iowa. She is a former student of Robin Lakoff and Yoko Hasegawa at the University of California, Berkeley where she received her doctoral degree in East Asian Languages and Cultures

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Book Info

Publication date

24th May 2010


Ikuko Patricia Yuasa

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Equinox Publishing Ltd


174 pages


Phonetics, phonology



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