Vocal fry or creaky voice

29 posts in this topic

Posted

Interesting piece, even if it takes about 20 minutes of your time:

http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/lexicon_valley/2013/01/lexicon_valley_on_creaky_voice_or_vocal_fry_in_young_american_women.html

 

Executive summary:

- used mainly by young American women, not by American men or British women

- relatively recent phenomenon

- identified in blind listening tests with professionalism or someone on the way to be a professional

- hypothesis - creak emulates lower pitch of male voice

 

Not that I agree with everything of the above, but listening was an eye-opener.

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Posted

Ironically these guys don't even notice themselves using vocal fry throughout this podcast.

 

When I studied linguistics in the eighties, it was more fashionable to discuss 'creaky voice' in the context of males, especially older and middle-easterm males (I'm not making this up it was in mainstream textbooks) using it to patronise females. That says much about the political agenda of linguistics and discourse analysis in the late 20th century, and little else.

 

In fact creaky voice is used in a whole variety of contexts: to express sexual interest, to express faux uncertainty in academic discourse, to show unconcernedness in the face of a threat - I could find you a dozen examples in a flash.

 

These guys focussed one one particular point - the way that young, would-be successful women speak. The sub-text is that young women have no right to ANY voice (let alone sucess) except that dictated by men. As they pretty much said several times , young women should stfu and stop annoying the clever men.

 

Notice how the guy is actively training his daughter to speak in the way he prefers - instilling her with the notion that her voice is his to direct. In fact he is probably teaching her the best to annoy the feck out of him, and she'll probably use it in spades when she reaches her teens.

 

But it's all just in jolly jest, as we are meant to understand by their affected chuckling.

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Posted

I was quite surprised to not hear the term "purr" at all, even while they played the Mae West clip. Someone did mention "growl" in the comments though. And someone claimed nobody black ever did this, but I'm sure Eartha Kitt did...

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Posted

What's the name for the type of voice that all female voice overs for TV and radio commercials in Germany put on? Without exception, it sounds like they are getting wet at the thought of reconstituted meat paste or Listerine.

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Posted

Nina Simone used it constantly - I'd like to play you Pirate Jenny but GEMA won't let me, so here's a white opera singer doing a passable imitation in nthe same song.

 

 

 

Edit: first 15 seconds of this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40AK0HJfPWI is creak - she also uses breathy about half way through.

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Posted

Here's some comedy creaking from Family Guy

 

funnily enough a candidate did this in a phone interview just yesterday, for slightly too long. For a moment we thought she'd died.

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Posted

@Chocky

Annoying?

There's something called Samtstimme.

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Posted

 

What's the name for the type of voice that all female voice overs for TV and radio commercials in Germany put on? Without exception, it sounds like they are getting wet at the thought of reconstituted meat paste or Listerine.

 

: I know what you mean! I call it hauchen.

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Posted

Interesting podcast. Maybe I just don't listen for it, but I don't feel like I hear this that often. I mean, I've heard it from some "celebrities" and singers, but not that often in my day-to-day life.

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Posted

I have a good American friend who has it. The other day we were talking on Skype, she in California and me in Germany. She used to live in Germany, married to a germa. Husband but just got divorced. We spoke for half an hour, she's in a bad way, her husband having cleared out their joint account and done other despicable things,

 

I love this woman to bits, but she definitely has a creaky voice. And she's not at all upwardly mobile, quite the opposite. She's really struggling to make ends meet, due to said hubby.

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Posted

I don't think it's something you use on purpose. My voice sounds kind of rough and deep in the morning, if I talk at all. Maybe because I smoke, or maybe because I generally don't talk much if I don't have to.

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Posted

One of my sisters has a low, growly voice, which she's had since high school. I hear the growly voice from some women newscasters here in the U.S.

 

Then there's the high-pitched, "I'm a woman and I need to tell you something you don't know, so I'm putting on my little girl voice so you won't get mad that I might be smarter than you" voice which way too many American women use when they talk to men. It used to make me feel as if I were working in an office filled with kindergartners.

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Posted

This was not the best edition of this program, but instrument of male oppression is a stretch.

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Posted

Then of course there is Hala Gorani voice from CNN Int. which makes one want to jump out of the freaking window upon hearing.

Like the wife says....Ohrenkrebs.

 

The monotone news shaped objects here go on my nerves as well but it seems the CNN anchors are the loudest and most obnoxious.

The audio channel seems to be overdriven and distorted on CNNi.

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Posted

It isn't the low or growly sounds that are so annoying, it is the nasal whining sound that drives me nuts. I hear the teens here in Germany do this too.

 

I have a naturally low voice, but it isn't monotone, nor fake. It just is what it is and has always been very low.

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Posted

What I've experienced increasingly of late is people making youtube videos and speaking so fast you wonder if they ever take a breath, I mean, at real breakneck speed. I've heard a few of these recently, the latest just this morning, this one:

http://www.upworthy.com/i-get-it-dudes-your-lives-are-just-as-hard-as-the-ladies-except-no?g=2&c=ufb1

It seems to a real trend, and it gets on my nerve. Are they just showing off, is it supposed to be funny/cool, or do they really speak that way?

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Posted

I agree with moondancer.

 

Shohreh Aghdashloo for example, low and growly. Love her voice.

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Posted

I wonder if the use of creaky voice has anything to do with the gen y/hipster irony or snark? This wouldn't explain, of course, why men use it less.

 

(your snarky reply here *)

 

The podcast. . . I am not an up in arms feminist, but I found their attitude offensive. And no, I don't and can't creak.

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Posted

 

putting on my little girl voice so you won't get mad that I might be smarter than you

I know just what you mean.

 

I listen to Radio 4 a lot and many of the talk show participants affect this false stuttering when they introduce a particularly academic or abstruse point. It's a sort of "I'm really intelligent and well-educated but I'm g-g-going to-to-to-to-to say this really hesitantly so you won't think I'm being a show-off." I call it Scholar's Stammer.

 

and don't get me started on "vicar voice" Do they teach them to talk like that in the seminary? I have to change channels when any vaguely religious content comes on.

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Posted

 

Ironically these guys don't even notice themselves using vocal fry throughout this podcast.

 

Yes, that is what struck me most. They're using the podcast to point out that this is - by their lights - something that deviates from the norm, and they give it a negative connotation, yet they use it themselves throughout the podcast. Somehow I don't think it was meant ironically either... However, I agree with Bobloblaw2020, that seeing this as an instrument of male oppression is a bit of a stretch.

 

 

Then of course there is Hala Gorani voice from CNN Int. which makes one want to jump out of the freaking window upon hearing. Like the wife says....Ohrenkrebs.

 

I had never heard of Hala Gorani, and I never watch CNN - googled her out of curiosity and concur with your wife's statement. However, hearing her in French is a lot less disagreeable and much more the norm for French broadcasters. I wonder whether her annoying inflections in English are shaped by her French language skills.

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