Quick question, and perhaps a natural extension of some of my previous questions.

For the girl speaking here at 1:09, what phonetic and phonological characteristics of her accent, and how do they give it away that she is Chinese American?

While she definitely has LA area intonation patterns, I don't think solely that comprises her accent, as I can certainly imagine caucasian speakers from LA speaking with that intonation.

I feel, vaguely, there's something about her pitch being different on average, and perhaps something about her formants being broader(?), almost post-pubescent, if that makes any sense at all? If not, please just disregard this.

  • Interesting question. I've suspected that there exist certain characteristics not just in second-generation Asian-Americans but also Australians of Asian descent. However I've never been able to characterise these speech variations in phonetic terms. Even I'm not 100% sure the effect exists. I'd advise a little blind trial to determine whether you can really distinguish second-generation speakers on phonetic grounds alone. I would be interested in seeing whether there's any scholarly work on this.
    – jogloran
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 6:42
  • 2
    The related question here is of particular interest, especially in its skepticism about whether speakers can really reliably distinguish such accents.
    – jogloran
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 6:44


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