Psychological Correlates of Speech Characteristics: on Sounding “Disadvantaged” Grade school teachers tended to differentiate the speech samples of children along two gross and relatively independent dimensions tentatively labeled “confidence-eagerness” and “ethnicity-nonstandardness.” Specific ratings of a child’s social status could be interpreted relative to this two-dimensional judgmental model. Moreover, based on measured characteristics of the speech samples, it was ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 1970
Psychological Correlates of Speech Characteristics: on Sounding “Disadvantaged”
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Frederick Williams
    University of Texas, Austin, Texas
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 1970
Psychological Correlates of Speech Characteristics: on Sounding “Disadvantaged”
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1970, Vol. 13, 472-488. doi:10.1044/jshr.1303.472
History: Received March 17, 1969
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1970, Vol. 13, 472-488. doi:10.1044/jshr.1303.472
History: Received March 17, 1969

Grade school teachers tended to differentiate the speech samples of children along two gross and relatively independent dimensions tentatively labeled “confidence-eagerness” and “ethnicity-nonstandardness.” Specific ratings of a child’s social status could be interpreted relative to this two-dimensional judgmental model. Moreover, based on measured characteristics of the speech samples, it was possible to develop interpretable prediction equations for variations in the social status ratings. Judgments of social status coincided with an earlier assigned socioeconomic index far more so for Negro than for white children. This prevailed generally with white and Negro teachers, sex of child, and the child’s speech topic. Although judgmental dimensions and prediction equations were roughly similar for Negro and white teachers, differences pointed to more dependence between ratings of race and status on the part of white teachers. When rating a child as high status, the white teachers had a greater tendency to identify him as being white, even if the child himself were Negro.

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