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Gender and command: A Sociophonetic Analysis of Female and Male Drill Instructors in the United States Marine Corps
AuthorKennard, Catherine Hicks
AdvisorArchangeli, Diana B.
Committee ChairArchangeli, Diana B.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation presents the results of a study conducted on the speech of male and female students training to become Drill Instructors (hereafter DIs) in the United States Marine Corps. Both high amplitude and low pitch are reported to be important characteristics of the DI Command Voice; these characteristics are also strongly associated with masculinity (Hicks 1997). However, previous research argues that female DIs do not view these qualities as the most important characteristics of the Command Voice. They focus instead on being "direct" (Hicks 1997, Hicks Kennard 1999). The question I address is whether or not the Command Voice taught in DI School is used differently by female and male DI students in authoritative speech.The data were recorded at the DI School in Parris Island, South Carolina. Six subjects participated in the study. The two factors considered were sex and speech style, which included: 1) teachback: high-amplitude recitations of training procedures, 2) locker-box discussion: a speech style used in academic settings, 3) interviews, and 4) a reading sample. Both vowel duration and peak pitch measurements were done in each speech style; measurements on larger thirty-second "chunks" of discourse were taken for mean pitch, standard deviation of pitch, range of pitch, and speaking rate for each speaker in each speech style. There was a significant main effect on vowel duration for all subjects except for one male and a significant main effect on peak pitch for all subjects. For discourse measurements of pitch, there was a significant main effect for mean pitch, standard deviation of pitch, and pitch range.Pair-wise comparisons resulted in significant differences in peak pitch for all subjects in all speech styles. Both females and males exhibited the same pattern for both vowel and discourse pitch measurements, from highest to lowest pitch: teachbacks, lockerbox discussion, reading sample, and interview. However, females' vowels were significantly longer in the most authoritative speech style--precisely where males had their shortest vowel duration. This difference suggests that in authoritative speech, females use vowel duration as part of the "directness" in authority, where males do not.