UC Berkeley PhonLab Annual Report
A Longitudinal Acoustic Study of Two Transgender Women on YouTube
- Author(s): Cheng, Andrew
- et al.
The current study addresses the normativity of gendered voices in two ways. First, it is a study of transgender voices outside of the clinical setting: voices that belong to transgender individuals who desire to change how their voices are perceived, but are not undergoing direct treatment or medical intervention of any kind to do so. Second, it tracks their vocal characteristics over many years and nds that not only are their voices following completely dierenttrajectories as time progresses, they are in several ways deviating from the expectations for their gender. Obviously, if a transgender individual does not follow a particular treatment program, their voice is unlikely to change in the way the treatment program would predict. However, this doesn't mean that the individuals are any less successful in their transition. The study concludes by speculating about the myriad ways in which a transgender person may use vocal and visual cues to index their gender, despite not changing their voice in the specic, most salient ways one might expect, given past linguistic research on gender.