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Clinical Focus: The Development and Description of a Palette of Transmasculine Voices.

PURPOSE: The study of gender and speech has historically excluded studies of transmasculine individuals. Consequently, generalizations about speech and gender are based on cisgender individuals. This lack of representation hinders clinical training and clinical service delivery, particularly by speech-language pathologists providing gender-affirming communication services. This letter describes a new corpus of the speech of American English-speaking transmasculine men, transmasculine nonbinary people, and cisgender men that is open and available to clinicians and researchers.

METHOD: Twenty masculine-presenting native English speakers from the Upper Midwestern United States (including cisgender men, transmasculine men, and transmasculine nonbinary people) were recorded, producing three sets of speech materials: Consensus Auditory-Perceptual Evaluation of Voice sentences, the Rainbow Passage, and a novel set of sentences developed for this project. Acoustic measures vowels (overall formant frequency scaling, vowel-space dispersion, fundamental frequency, breathiness), consonants (voice onset time of word-initial voiceless stops, spectral moments of word-initial /s/), and the entire sentence (rate of speech) that were made.

RESULTS: The acoustic measures reveal a wide range for all dependent measures and low correlations among the measures. Results show that many of the voices depart considerably from the norms for men's speech in published studies.

CONCLUSION: This new corpus can be used to illustrate different ways of sounding masculine by speech-language pathologists performing gender-affirming communication services and by higher education teachers as examples of diverse ways of sounding masculine.

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