14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

The Effect of an Interlocutor's Gender on Pitch-Ranges Employed by Japanese Men

Ikuko Yuasa

University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA

The present study investigates the pitch-ranges of intonation groups spontaneously produced by four Japanese males in conversations with two interlocutors of different gender unfamiliar to them. The results indicate that a relatively narrow pitch-range was used to converse with the unfamiliar interlocutors regardless of gender differences. The finding of the present study may support Yuasa's claim (1998) that a politeness system which the Japanese speakers adopt in relation to the restraint and the release of emotions, rather than gender, should be a fundamental issue in discussing the pitch-range differences which the Japanese adopt. It may also suggest that the politeness system as reflected in a genderblind hierarchical orientation of the Japanese society makes gender of interlocutors less noticeable in a formal setting.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Yuasa, Ikuko (1999): "The effect of an interlocutor's gender on pitch-ranges employed by Japanese men", In ICPhS-14, 1605-1608.