Indo-Trinidadian speech

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This paper examines the extent to which fundamental frequency (F0) contributes to the stereotype that Indo-Trinidadians have a distinctive way of speaking, namely that they have high-pitched voices in contrast to Afro-Trinidadians, who are perceived as having voices with a low tone. We report the results of an experiment in which the F0 of voice samples of both Afro- and Indo-Trinidadians was acoustically modified to investigate this stereotype. Listeners were presented with unmodified as well as modified samples and were asked to identify the speaker’s ethnicity. Our results reveal that F0 is indeed one of the salient cues which Trinidadians rely on to distinguish ethnicity. In addition, phonation emerges as a potential ethnicity cue.


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