Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Linguistics

An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: van der Auwera, Johan

6 Issues per year


IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.644
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.878

CiteScore 2017: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.418
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 1.386

Online
ISSN
1613-396X
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 55, Issue 5

Issues

The development of gender-specific patterns in the production of voiceless sibilant fricatives in Mandarin Chinese

Fangfang Li
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Psychology, University of Lethbridge, 4401 University Drive, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, T1K 3M4
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-09-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2017-0019

Abstract

This article reports on the development of gender-specific speech patterns in Mandarin children’s production of voiceless sibilant fricatives. Ninety-four children aged from 2 to 5 (gender-balanced) participated in a word repetition task, producing a series of words beginning with fricatives. Their speech was digitally recorded and acoustically analyzed. The results indicate that gender-related differentiation in /s/ and /ɕ/ occurs around age 4 and becomes more robust at age 5. The differentiation occurs due to the more anterior articulation location that girls employ in their speech in comparison with boys. In addition, 10 adults (gender-balanced) were recorded to probe the origin of this gendered speech phenomenon. Unlike children, adults only show robust gender-related differences in /ɕ/. Results comparing the speech of adults and children suggest that gendered variation in /s/ is potentially the result of a chain shift initiated by gender-linked variation of /ɕ/. These results are discussed with respect to their ramifications for our understanding of the organization and acquisition of multiple components of children’s phonological capacity.

Keywords: gendered speech acquisition; voiceless sibilant fricatives; Mandarin; acoustics

References

  • Beckman, Mary, E. Benjamin Munson & Jan Edwards. 2007. The influence of vocabulary growth on developmental changes in types of phonological knowledge. In Jennifer Cole & José Ignacio Hualde (eds.), Laboratory Phonology, Vol. 9, 241–264. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Beckman, Mary E., Li Fangfang, Eunjong Kong & Jan Edwards. 2014. Aligning the timelines of phonological acquisition and change. Laboratory Phonology 5(1). 151–193.Google Scholar

  • Boersma, Paul & David Weenink. 2005. Praat: Doing phonetics by computer (Version praat 4.3.07). http://www.praat.org/

  • Cao, Yun. 1986. 北京话语音里的性别差异 [Gender difference in the phonetics of Beijing Mandarin]. 汉语学习 [Chinese Studies] 6. 31–31.Google Scholar

  • Cao, Yun. 1987. 北京话tɕ组声母的前化现象 [The fronting phenomenon of the /tɕ/class sounds in Beijing Mandarin]. 语言教学与研究 [Language teaching and research] 3. 84–91.Google Scholar

  • Chang, Yung-hsiang Shawn. 2011. A corpus study of retroflex realizations in Beijing and Taiwan Mandarin. Proceedings of ICPhS XVII. 440–443.Google Scholar

  • Chao, Yuen-Ren. 1968. A grammar of spoken Chinese. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar

  • Chao, Yuen-Ren, Luo-Chang Pei & Fang-Gui Li. 1937. 中国音韵学研究 [Studies on Chinese phonology]. Beijing: The Commercial Press.Google Scholar

  • Corriveau, Kathleen. H., Maria Fusaro & Paul L. Harris. 2009. Going with the flow: Preschoolers prefer non-dissenters as informants. Psychological Science 20. 372–377.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Fitch, W. Tecumseh. 1997. Vocal tract length and format frequency dispersion correlate with body size in rhesus macaques. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 102. 1213–1222.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Flipsen, Peter, Lawrence Shriberg, Gary Wismer, Heather Karlsson & Jane McSweeny. 1999. Acoustic characteristics of /s/in adolescents. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 42. 663–677.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Forrest, Karen, Gary Weismer, Paul Milenkovic & Ronald N. Dougall. 1988. Statistical analysis of word-initial voiceless obstruents: Preliminary data. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 84. 115–124.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Foulkes, Paul, Gerard Docherty & Dominic Watt. 2005. Phonological variation in child-directed speech. Language 81. 177–206.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Fox, Rob A. & Shawn Nissen. 2005. Sex-related acoustic changes in voiceless English fricatives. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research 48. 753–765.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Frisch, Stefan A. & Richard Wright. 2002. The phonetics of phonological speech errors: An acoustic analysis of slips of the tongue. Journal of Phonetics 30. 139–162.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Fuchs, Susanne & Martine Toda. 2010. Do differences in male versus female /s/reflect biological factors or sociophonetic ones? In Susanne Fuchs, Martine Toda & Marzena Zygis (eds.), An interdisciplinary guide to turbulent sounds. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Gordon, Matthew, Paul Barthmaier & Kathy Sands. 2002. A cross-linguistic acoustic study of voiceless fricatives. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 32(2). 141–174.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Hayes, Bruce. 1986. Assimilation as spreading in Toba Batak. Linguistic Inquiry 17. 467–499.Google Scholar

  • Heffernan, Kevin. 2004. Evidence from HNR that /s/is a social marker of gender. Toronto working papers in Linguistics 23(2). 71–84.Google Scholar

  • Houston, Derek M. & Peter W. Jusczyk. 2000. The role of talker-specific information in word segmentation by infants. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 26(5). 1570–1582.Google Scholar

  • Houston, Derek M. & Peter W. Jusczyk. 2003. Infants’ long-term memory for the sound patterns of words and voices. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 29(6). 1143–1154.Google Scholar

  • Hu, Fang. 2008. The three sibilants in Standard Chinese. In Suzanne Fuchs, Rudolf Sock & Yves Laprie (eds.), Proceedings of the 8th International Seminar on Speech Production (ISSP 08), 105–108. Strasbourg: INRIA.Google Scholar

  • Jakobson, Roman. 1960[1941]. Child Language, aphasia, and phonological universal. Mouton: The Hague.Google Scholar

  • Jongman, Allard, Ratree Wayland & Serena Wong. 2000. Acoustic characteristics of English fricatives. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 108(3). 1252–1263.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kent, Raymond D. 1992. The biology of phonological development. In Charles A. Ferguson, Lise Menn & Carol Stoel-Gammon (eds.), Phonological development: Models, research, implications., 65–90. Timonium, MD: York Press.Google Scholar

  • Kinzler, Katherine D., Kathleen H. Corriveau & Paul L. Harris. 2011. Children’s selective trust in native-accented speakers. Developmental Science 14(1). 106–111.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kuhl, Patricia K., Jean E. Andruski, Inna A. Chistovich, Ludmilla. A Chistovich, Elena V. Kozhevnikova, Viktoria L. Ryskina, Elvira I. Stolyavora, Ulla Sundberg & Francisco Lacerda. 1997. Cross-language analysis of phonetic units in language addressed to infants. Science 277. 684–686.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Labov, William, Sharon Ash & Charles Boberg. 2006. The atlas of North American English: Phonetics, phonology and sound change. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Ladefoged, Peter & Ian Maddieson. 1996. The sounds of the world’s languages. Oxford & Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Ladefoged, Peter & Zongji Wu. 1984. Places of articulation: An investigation of Pekingese fricatives and affricatives. Journal of Phonetics 12(3). 267–278.Google Scholar

  • Lee, Wai-Sum. 1999. An articulatory and acoustic analysis of the syllable-initial sibilants and approximants in Beijing Mandarin. Paper presented at the 14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, San Francisco, 1–7 August.Google Scholar

  • Li, Fangfang. 2008. The phonetic development of voiceless sibilant fricatives in English, Japanese, and Mandarin Chinese. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University dissertation.Google Scholar

  • Li, Fangfang. 2012. Language-specific developmental differences in speech production: A cross-language acoustic study. Child Development 83(4). 1303–1315.Google Scholar

  • Li, Fangfang, Jan Edwards & Mary E. Beckman. 2007. Spectral measures for sibilant fricatives of English, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. Paper presented at the 16th International Congress of Phonetics, Saarbrucken, Germany, 6–10 August 2007.Google Scholar

  • Li, Fangfang, Drew Rendall, Paul Vasey, Melissa Kinsman, Amanda Ward-Sutherland & Giancarlo Diano. 2016. The development of sex/gender-specific /s/and its relationship to gender identity in children and adolescents. Journal of Phonetics 57. 59–70.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lin, Tao & Lijia Wang. 1992. 语音学教程 [A course in phonetics]. Beijing: Peking University Press.Google Scholar

  • Locke, John L. 1983. Phonological acquisition and change. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar

  • Mack, Sara & Benjamin Munson. 2012. The association between /s/quality and perceived sexual orientation of men’s voices: Implicit and explicit measures. Journal of Phonetics 40. 198–212.Google Scholar

  • Mingyang, Hu. 1991. Feminine accent in the Beijing vernacular: A sociolinguistic investigation. Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association 26(1). 49−54.Google Scholar

  • Morton, Eugene. W. 1977. On the occurrence and significance of motivation-structural rules in some bird and mammal sounds. The American Naturalist 111(981). 855–869.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Munson, Benjamin, Jan Edwards & Mary E. Beckman. 2005. Phonological knowledge in typical and atypical speech-sound development. Topics in Language Disorders 25. 190–206.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Munson, Benjamin, Sarah V. Jefferson & Elizabeth C. McDonald. 2006a. The influence of perceived sexual orientation on fricative identification. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 119. 2427–2437.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Munson, Benjamin, Elizabeth C. McDonald, Nancy L. DeBoe & Aubrey R. White. 2006b. The acoustic and perceptual bases of judgments of women and men’s sexual orientation from read speech. Journal of Phonetics 34. 202–240.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Nissen, Shawn L. & Rob A. Fox. 2005. Acoustic and spectral characteristics of young children’s fricative productions: A developmental perspective. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 118(4). 2570–2578.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Nittrouer, Susan. 1993. The emergence of mature gestural patterns is not uniform: Evidence from an acoustic study. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research 36(5). 959–972.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Nittrouer, Susan, Michael Studdert-Kennedy & Richard S. McGowan. 1989. The emergence of phonetic segments: Evidence from the spectral structure of fricative-vowel syllables spoken by children and adults. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research 32(1). 120–132.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ohala, John. 1984. An ethological perspective on common cross-language utilization of F0 of voice. Phonetica 41. 1–16.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ohala, John. 1994. The frequency codes underlies the sound symbolic use of voice pitch. In John Ohala, Leanne Hinton & Johanna Nichols (eds.), Sound symbolism, 325–347. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Pierrehumbert, Janet. B. 2003. Phonetic diversity, statistical learning, and acquisition of phonology. Language and Speech 46(2–3). 115–154.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • R Development Core Team. 2013. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. Retrieved from http://www.R-project.org/

  • Rendall, Drew, John R. Vokey & Christie Nemeth. 2007. Lifting the curtain on the Wizard of Oz: Biased voice-based impressions of speaker size. Journal of Experimental Psychology (Human Perception and Performance) 33(5). 1208–1219.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Shadle, Christine. H. 1991. The effect of geometry on source mechanisms of fricative consonants. Journal of Phonetics 19(3–4). 409–424.Google Scholar

  • Shadle, Christine. H. & Sheila J. Mair. 1996. Quantifying spectral characteristics of fricatives In H. Timothy Bunnel & William Idsardi (eds.), Proceedings of the International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP 96), 1517–1520. Wilmington, DE: Applied Science and Engineering Laboratories & Acoustical Society of AmericaGoogle Scholar

  • Stuart-Smith, Jane. 2007. Empirical evidence for gendered speech production: /s/in Galswegian. In Jennifer Cole & Jose Ignacio Hualde (eds.), Laboratory Phonology, Vol. 9, 65–86. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Sun, Weizhang, Ye Lu & Lijun Li. 1986. 吉林方言分区略说 (A synopsis of Jilin dialect regions). 方言 [Dialect] 1. 39–45.Google Scholar

  • Svantesson, Jan-Olof. 1986. Acoustic analysis of Chinese fricatives and affricatives. Journal of Chinese Linguistic 14(1). 53–70.Google Scholar

  • Trudgill, Peter, Elizabeth Gordon & Gillian Lewis. 1998. New dialect formation and Southern Hemisphere English: The New Zealand short front vowels. Journal of Sociolinguistics 2. 35–51.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Vorperian, Houri K., Shubing Wang, Moo K. Chung, Michael E. Schimek, Reid B. Durtschi, Raymond D. Kent, Andrew J. Ziegert & Lindell R. Gentry. 2009. Anatomic development of the oral and pharyngeal portions of the vocal tract: An imaging study. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 125(3). 1666–1678.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Werker, Janet F., Ferran Pons, Christiane Dietrich, Sachiyo Kajikawa, Laurel Fais & Shigeaki Amano. 2007. Infant-directed speech supports phonetic category learning in English and Japanese. Cognition 103(1). 147–162.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Xu, Shirong. 1979. 普通话语音和北京土音的界限 [The boundary between Standard Mandarin and the vulgar Beijing Mandarin]. 语言教学与研究 [Language teaching and research] 1. 7–22.Google Scholar

  • Zhang, Qing. 2005. A Chinese yuppie in Beijing: Phonological variation and the construction of a new professional identity. Language in Society 34. 431–466.Google Scholar

  • Zhu, Liyi. 2012. Retroflex and non-retroflex merger in Shanghai accented Mandarin. Seattle, WA: University of Washington MA Thesis.Google Scholar

  • Zhu, Xiaonong. 2004. 亲密与高调 – 对小称调、女国音、美眉等语言现象的生物学解释 [Intimacy and high frequency: The biological explanation of sociolinguistic phenomenon such as diminutive tone sandhi and intonation as well as feminine accent]. 当代语言学 [Contemporary Linguistics] 6(3). 193–222.Google Scholar

  • Zimman, Lal. 2013. Hegemonic masculinity and the variability of gay-sounding speech: The perceived sexuality of transgender men. Journal of Language and Sexuality 2(1). 1–39.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2017-09-01

Published in Print: 2017-09-26


Citation Information: Linguistics, Volume 55, Issue 5, Pages 1021–1044, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2017-0019.

Export Citation

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

[1]
Lal Zimman
Language and Linguistics Compass, 2018, Page e12284

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in