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When voice signals nationality and sexual orientation: Speakers’ self-perceptions and perceived stigmatization

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/01/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Psychology of Language and Communication
Issue number1
Number of pages25
Pages (from-to)59-83
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Research has shown that individuals speaking low-prestige language varieties are often negatively evaluated and stigmatized by others. However, less is known about how speakers of such language varieties perceive their own speech. Here, we examined self-perceptions and perceived stigma of speakers who belong to multiple social categories signaled by auditory cues. Specifically, we examined beliefs of sexual minority and heterosexual male speakers who were either British nationals (native English speakers) or foreigners living in the UK (non-native English speakers). British speakers believed their voices cue their nationality more than foreigners. Heterosexuals believed their voices reveal their sexual orientation, but only when they self-perceived as sounding masculine. Sexual minority and foreign speakers felt more stigmatized because of the way they sound than did heterosexual and British speakers, respectively. These findings have implications for intergroup communication and voice-based stigmatization literature.