Sounding Black or White: priming identity and biracial speech.


Journal Article

Research has shown that priming one's racial identity can alter a biracial individuals' social behavior, but can such priming also influence their speech? Language is often used as a marker of one's social group membership and studies have shown that social context can affect the style of language that a person chooses to use, but this work has yet to be extended to the biracial population. Audio clips were extracted from a previous study involving biracial Black/White participants who had either their Black or White racial identity primed. Condition-blind coders rated Black-primed biracial participants as sounding significantly more Black and White-primed biracial participants as sounding significantly more White, both when listening to whole (Study 1a) and thin-sliced (Study 1b) clips. Further linguistic analyses (Studies 2a-c) were inconclusive regarding the features that differed between the two groups. Future directions regarding the need to investigate the intersections between social identity priming and language behavior with a biracial lens are discussed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gaither, SE; Cohen-Goldberg, AM; Gidney, CL; Maddox, KB

Published Date

  • January 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 /

Start / End Page

  • 457 -

PubMed ID

  • 25941505

Pubmed Central ID

  • 25941505

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1664-1078

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1664-1078

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00457


  • eng