ok… Let’s see if I can get this answered without it turning into a racial debate… but back in the OJ trial, I remember Johnny Cochoran calling it racist to say that someone “sounded black” and that you couldn’t tell that someone was black just by their voice. I’ve thought about this from time to time when listening to someone I don’t know on the radio… and I think you CAN tell. Maybe not all the time, but it seems that there is a distinctive speech pattern that makes me think “black person”, or “white person”.
Is there any linguistic evidence to support ethnic group speech patterns? I don’t know much about this area (and isn’t THAT obvious), but I’ve asked some people I know this question, and they all say that, yes… often they can tell if a person is black or white just by their voice. Before you jump down my throat, I’ve asked both black and white friends this and they’ve all basically said the same thing. However, my study wasn’t very scientific. I wonder if there has been any real study done on this, or is it considered so politically incorrect to even think such a thing that no one will touch it?
Anyone care to share their thoughts and knowledge?