Can you tell someone's sexuality from the way they speak?

Hazenberg, Evan (2019) Can you tell someone's sexuality from the way they speak? In: Language Questions: FAQs for the new century. Taylor & Francis. (Accepted)

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Abstract

Stereotypes about ‘sounding gay’ abound in English-speaking societies, particularly those with easy access to popular media representations of queer people, giving rise to certain styles of speech that are widely understood as signaling a gay identity . These stereotypes arise partly due to the social markedness of queer identities, although interestingly, there are far fewer stereotypes about ‘sounding lesbian’ than there are about ‘sounding gay’. Our social understanding of how we present and perform our sexuality through language has changed over time, moving away from a simple category-based schema into a more dynamic and emergent system. Research into the perception and production of gay- and lesbian-sounding speech shows that these recognizable speech styles are not easily broken down into one or two straightforward language features, but instead draw on a range of linguistic resources that can be combined in various ways to present different identities.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: English, language and sexuality, language variation, sociophonetics, sociolinguistics
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The Family. Marriage. Women > HQ0012 Sexual life
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P0040 Relation to sociology. Sociolinguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
Depositing User: Evan Hazenberg
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2019 11:06
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2019 11:06
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/85649

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