Volume 25 Fifty Years of CRIL
Undergraduate Research Papers

Report on Vocal Fry in Interactional Contexts: Creaky Voice and Pitch as Affected by Age and Gender of Speaker

Sophia Six
University of Colorado Boulder
Published August 22, 2021
Keywords
  • vocal fry,
  • creaky voice,
  • interaction,
  • sociolinguistics,
  • gender,
  • age,
  • sexism,
  • phonetics
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Abstract

Previous research on vocal fry has been largely one-sided, investigating its role as a vocal phenomenon for young women specifically, and focusing on countering or confirming harmful stereotypes surrounding vocal fry as perpetuated by the media. This study attempts to expand an understanding of vocal fry by investigating its production by multiple genders and ages, as well as its role in an interactional context. In this study, participants of four age and gender groups (older women, older men, younger women, and younger men) were asked to conduct a conversation with a member of each identity in order to determine the effect of identity in an interactional role on the occurrence of vocal fry. While prior studies have implied that the use of vocal fry is most heavily dependent on the identity of the speaker, this study concludes that the identity of the participant may actually play a more important role in its occurrence. It also contextualizes the prominence of female vocal fry in relation to the frequency of vocal fry by other speakers.