Gender Influence on Prosody of Standard Chinese

Author: Zuzana Pospechova (Centre for Chinese Studies, Masaryk University Brno, Czech Republic)
Speaker: Zuzana Pospechova
Topic: Language, Gender, Sexuality
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2020 General Session


This presentation draws from results collected from a spoken text corpus. The participants are native Chinese speakers with a range of ages. The results of the analysis indicate that age and gender both influence prosody, and for example, females use more descending and reduplicated rhythmical sequences than males, and females employ more weakened tone syllables than males.

In this paper, I focus on motives for speech which correlate between prosody and traditional gender roles of men and women in China. Consequent to that, in the past, the gender roles and the “correct” speech of men and women had strict positions, the collected data indicates that these traditional roles persist in current society, and which become highly evident in speech prosody of the Chinese.

Keywords: Standard Chinese, prosody, gender