Re: creaky voice

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sat Feb 18 19:04:36 UTC 2006

On Feb 18, 2006, at 10:41 AM, RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:

> In a message dated 2/18/06 1:29:12 PM, sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM writes:
>> Are there  some familiar voices on NPR that exhibit this?
> Louis Armstrong sang that way.

virtually everybody exhibits some creaky voice at the end of long
utterances.  the fundamental frequency of the voice declines steadily
over utterances, and eventually it gets too low to maintain normal
voicing, and we go into creaky voice.

rob podesva at stanford identified creaky voice as part of the
package of the "diva" presentation of self of one of the gay men in
his dissertation research.

anne cutler once said to me that creaky voice was a common
characteristic of american male news anchors.  she thought that
audiences found it both authoritative and soothing and so judged the
news anchors to be trustworthy.

as usual, the social meaning of a bit of linguistic material depends
crucially on all sorts of features of the context, and speakers can
(unconsciously) deploy this material for all sorts of effects.


The American Dialect Society -

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