In paired dialect identification tasks, differing only by speakers' sex, New Yorkers were asked to identify the race and national heritage of other New Yorkers. Each task included eight speakers: two Chinese Americans, two Korean Americans, two European Americans, a Latino, and an African American. Listeners were successful at above chance rates at identifying speakers' races, but not at differentiating the Chinese from Koreans. Acoustic analyses identified breathier voice as a factor separating the Asian Americans most frequently identified from the non-Asians and Asians least successfully identified. Also, the Chinese and Latino men's speech appeared more syllable timed than the others' speech. Finally, longer voice onset times for voiceless stops and lower /ε/s and /r/s were also to be implicated in making a speaker “sound Asian.” These results support extending the study of the robust U.S. tendency for linguistic differentiation by race to Asian Americans, although this differentiation does not rise to the level of a systematic racial dialect. Instead, it is suggested that it be characterized as an ethnolinguistic repertoire along the lines suggested by Sarah Bunin Benor.

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