Whose gendered voices matter?: Race and gender in the articulation of /s/ in Bakersfield, California Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract/s/ frontness is one of the most robustly studied linguistic variables in language and gender research. While much previous literature has established the pattern that women produce fronter /s/ than men, production work on /s/ has either largely focused on White speakers or left speaker race unexplored. This article addresses this gap by examining the production of /s/ among African American and White speakers in Bakersfield, California. While the White speakers exhibit a gender split consonant with previous studies, African American Bakersfieldians exhibit no gender split, with African American men producing /s/ as front as African American women. We argue that African American men in Bakersfield avoid a backed production of /s/ indexical of a White country identity which has historically oppressed them in the area. These production patterns illuminate the importance of an intersectional analysis, taking into account the effect of speaker race on gendered variables like /s/.

publication date

  • November 1, 2022

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • January 31, 2023 1:48 AM

Full Author List

  • Calder J; King S

author count

  • 2

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1360-6441

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-9841

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 604

end page

  • 623


  • 26


  • 5