Gender Identification Phonetics Experiment

For my Phonetics and Phonology class’s mid-term grade I was assigned with a project to design an experiment using PRAAT software to test subjects with a multiple forced choice test. I decided to see what could be done with pitch, and explore an area of interest to me: gender identification. The attached file is a write-up of my results.

Because this project was somewhat informal and the number of subjects was fairly small (10 total) it’s hard to say if the results accurately describe a larger population. I also did not do any hard background research but instead only received background information from class and reference from professors here at William and Mary.


About evilestmark

Writer, Yogi, English, and Japanese teacher living in rural Japan.
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3 Responses to Gender Identification Phonetics Experiment

  1. Seth says:

    You should really (unless you did and I missed it) list the actual original (median) pitch frequencies, since you have multiple speakers and presumably their voices may vary significantly in pitch.

    Interesting experiment though, particularly that controls weren’t always id’d correctly.

  2. Seth says:

    And actually, when I think about it, giving a median and range of pitch for each original voice makes it easier to understand the meaning of something like a -50Hz adjustment. Like how far that throws it down into the range of male voices, etc.

  3. evilestmark says:

    Yeah. There’s a lot I wanted to do, but without background research I felt more comfortable making fewer comments and assumptions, though I could’ve described the median pitches of the original sound waves. This project was more limited by time than anything, she wasn’t interested in research as much as our ability to perform experiments using the software, I’m willing to bet that my paper is 3x longer than most everyone else’s in the class.

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