Gendered speech variation has been found in adults and children. In adults, sexual dimorphism is an important component of this variation, but prepubertal children lack this anatomical differentiation. Research has shown that adults also use learned behaviors to perform their gender, and a growing body of research has suggested that gendered speech variation in children is also due to learning. One of those learned sociophonetic variations is seen in the production of /s/. In this study, the development and variation of /s/ and /ʃ/ production between 55 children assigned male at birth (AMAB) and 55 children assigned female at birth (AFAB) was analyzed. A systematic comparison of /s/ and /ʃ/ accuracy and spectral properties at 28-39 months old and at 53-66 months old suggested that /s/ variation is a possible gender marker that is learned early in life.
University of Minnesota M.A. thesis. June 2021. Major: Speech-Language Pathology. Advisor: Benjamin Munson. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 75 pages.
The Emergence of Gendered Phonetic Variation in Preschool Children: Findings from a Longitudinal Study.
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