What is it about?
We investigated how speech naturalness relates to masculinity–femininity and gender identification (accuracy and reaction time) for cisgender male and female speakers as well as transmasculine and transfeminine speakers. We found that perceptual speech naturalness for both transfeminine and transmasculine speakers is strongly associated with gender cues in spontaneous speech. Training to align a speaker’s voice with their gender identity may concurrently improve perceptual speech naturalness.
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Why is it important?
This finding helps clarify what constitutes "natural" sounding speech production from transgender speakers and suggests that targeting speech markers of masculinity and femininity may simultaneously promote natural sounding speech.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Perceptual Evaluation of Speech Naturalness in Speakers of Varying Gender Identities, Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, July 2020, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), DOI: 10.1044/2020_jslhr-19-00337.
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Look Who's Talking: Gender, Sexuality and the Voice
A person’s speech and voice convey an immense amount of information about them to others, whether intended or not. Our voices allow others to construct a mental image of us, including age, race and ethnicity, personality, and physical characteristics. Gender is an especially notable feature of the voice to which listeners are sensitive. Gender cues in speech are particularly important for trans and gender non-conforming individuals, whose voices may, at times, feel at odds with their gender orientation and identity. In this presentation I explore the many ways our identity is coded in our voices, how our ideas of “typical” voices develop, strategies for working toward achieving an authentic voice, and the role of trans and non-binary identities in shaping the future of communication technology.
November 2019 Conference: Acoustical Society of America Project: Perceptual evaluation of speech naturalness in individuals of varying gender identities
Poster presentation of this paper presented at the Acoustical Society of America in San Diego, CA, USA in November, 2019.
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