Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


Voice Quality

By John H. Esling, Scott R. Moisik, Allison Benner, Lise Crevier-Buchman

Voice Quality "The first description of voice quality production in forty years, this book provides a new framework for its study: The Laryngeal Articulator Model. Informed by instrumental examinations of the laryngeal articulatory mechanism, it revises our understanding of articulatory postures to explain the actions, vibrations and resonances generated in the epilarynx and pharynx."

New from Oxford University Press!


Let's Talk

By David Crystal

Let's Talk "Explores the factors that motivate so many different kinds of talk and reveals the rules we use unconsciously, even in the most routine exchanges of everyday conversation."

E-mail this page 1

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Dissertation Information

Title: Cross-language Study of Age Perception Add Dissertation
Author: Kyoko Nagao Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Indiana University Bloomington, Department of Spanish
Completed in: 2006
Linguistic Subfield(s): Phonetics; Sociolinguistics;
Director(s): Kenneth de Jong
Robert Port
Diane Kewley-Port
Karen Forrest

Abstract: A number of studies have shown that listeners can estimate the age of
talkers quite accurately by listening to speech alone. However, the effects
of native language on age perception have not yet been explored. The
current study examined the effects of listener’s language familiarity on
the perception of a talker’s age in the three linguistic contexts varying
the amount of information, i.e., vowel, phrase, and sentence. Two groups of
listeners (English and Japanese) estimated the age of talkers whose native
language were matched or mismatched with the listener’s. Furthermore, in
order to investigate the effect of age stereotypes in each language, the
same listeners estimated the age of talkers who disguised themselves as 20
year older or younger than their age.

Results indicated that listener’s estimation of talker’s age improved when
more information was available. The listeners estimated the age of talkers
more accurately in the familiar language than the foreign language. Better
age estimation was found for female talkers than male talkers, but the
effect of talker’s sex only appeared in the age estimation in the familiar
language. Results of age estimation for age-disguised speech revealed that
both language groups in this investigation have similar age stereotypes.
These results suggested that the age-related speech characteristics are
based on both on physiological factors and linguistic variation, variation
that a non-native listener does not have access to. Results also suggest
that there exists an underlying perceptual mechanism for identifying the
age that is common across languages.