Sociophonetics and phonation

Lisa Davidson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Phonation, which refers to the vibration of the vocal folds, is a building block of spoken language. Much like segmental or prosodic variation, both modal (i.e., periodic or regular) phonation and nonmodal phonation types such as breathy, creaky, harsh, or falsetto voice can be recruited for a large range of sociolinguistic purposes, including the construction of identities based on regional background, race/ethnicity, sexuality, or gender, or to convey stances or attributes such as boredom, femininity, or aggressiveness. This chapter first reviews research that investigates how nonmodal phonation is employed to index elements like identity, regional background, and pragmatic information. Second, sociolinguistic interpretations of language-specific aspects of the speaking fundamental frequency of modal phonation are examined. Third, an experiment examining the intersection between speaking fundamental frequency, pitch perception, political affiliation, and femininity is presented. The research discussed in this chapter demonstrates that phonation is a versatile linguistic element that can be harnessed for a variety of sociolinguistic purposes.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Sociophonetics
    PublisherTaylor and Francis
    Number of pages21
    ISBN (Electronic)9781000955897
    ISBN (Print)9780367472795
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Arts and Humanities
    • General Social Sciences


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