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Saturday, October 12 • 9:20am - 9:45am
Stecker: Gender, variant frequency, and social evaluations of speakers

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Gender, variant frequency, and social evaluations of speakers

Listeners are sensitive to the frequency at which speakers produce “non-standard” variants in utterances, reflected in their social evaluations of those speakers. Previous work also illustrates that women’s voices face greater scrutiny than men’s voices. However, the ways that a speaker’s gender may modulate a listener’s sensitivity to the frequency of “non-standard” variants remains to be explored. Using the variable ING, a matched-guise task was conducted to compare listeners’ evaluations of male and female speakers producing varying proportions of a “non-standard” ‘-in’ variant, investigating whether listeners evaluate men and women differently for using ‘-in’ at the same rates of production. Findings show that speakers’ greater usage of the ‘-in’ variant faces more negative evaluations from listeners, but this trend did not differ between different speaker genders. Rather, differences in evaluations of individual speakers persist across and within gendered categories, bearing implications for notions of binary gender and single-speaker matched-guise paradigms.


Amelia Stecker

Northwestern University

Saturday October 12, 2019 9:20am - 9:45am PDT
EMU Crater Lake S
  T: Social evaluation
  • Session type Talk
  • Chair: Charlotte Vaughn