How expanded is your vowel space?

Over at Language Log, Mark Liberman discusses an article in the October 2004 issue of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America by Pierrehumbert, Bent, Munson, Bradlow and Bailey, entitled “The Influence of Sexual Orientation on Vowel Production”. It seems that if gmail doesn’t out you, your vowels might …

(Note: Hunting down the URLs for each of the authors definitely turned out to be worth it.)

Update: Bill Poser continues the discussion of “phonetic gaydar” on Language Log.

One thought on “How expanded is your vowel space?

  1. John Kingston

    This is a comment on Bill Poser’s reference to “dynamism”, i.e. the extent of F0 variation or flux, as differentiating gay from straight speech.

    In 1987, Caroline Henton reported the results of a study of differences in dynamism between male and female speech (Fact and fiction in the description of female and male pitch, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 82,S91, 1987). Female speech had been described as more dynamic than male speech — presumably this would be the model for more dynamic gay male speech. Her findings showed that, if anything, male speech was more dynamic than female speech. So I’d like very much to know how reliable the estimates of dynamism are in the study Bill cited.

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