Gender influence on prosody of Standard Chinese

Author: Zuzana Pospechova (Masaryk University)
Speaker: Zuzana Pospechova
Topic: Language, gender, sexuality
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2019 General Session


This presentation works with results gained from spoken texts corpus. The participants, native Chinese speakers, are of both genders and all age categories. The results of the analysis clearly show that age, and especially gender have an influence on the prosodic realization of speech. There is a correlation between gender and prosodic realization of speech, e. g. females use more one ictus prosodic words than males, females use more descending and reduplicated rhythmical sequences than males, females use more weakened tone syllables than males do etc.

In this paper I would like to concentrate on the reasons of these very interesting facts and try to connect them with the traditional gender roles of men and women in Chinese background. Since in the past the gender roles and the “correct” speech of men and especially women were set very strictly and according to my data it seems there is a remnant of this raising until nowadays which show up in the speech prosody.

Keywords: Standard Chinese, prosody, gender, tones