Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2211-3770
  • E-ISSN: 2211-3789
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Research on listener identification of sexual orientation (e.g., Gaudio 1994, Piccolo 2008) has produced conflicting results. I argue that one contributing factor to linguistic perception of sexual orientation is the speaker’s assumptions about gay male ways of speaking American English or about specific linguistic features that the speaker believes listeners will associate with “sounding gay” in American English. Interviews I conducted with eight gay men highlight the ways in which positive and negative attitudes become realized in discourse about sounding gay or gay male ways of speaking and its link to other social practices. I then present results from a language perception study, which suggest that negative attitudes toward sounding gay decrease the possibility that a speaker will use linguistic features associated with sounding gay and will, as a result, be less likely to be perceived as gay than gay men who hold positive attitudes toward sounding gay.


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