Gender Variation in Creaky Voice and Fundamental Frequency

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The Ohio State University

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The current study examines creaky voice and the fundamental frequency associated with modal and creaky voicing across genders. I analyzed read speech data from five male and five female Midwestern Americans between the ages of 18 and 25. I found that female speakers use creaky voice more often than male speakers in this dialect. Additionally, the male speakers produced a much smaller difference in fundamental frequency between modal and creaky voicing than the female speakers. I suggest that the difference in fundamental frequency ranges across genders may cause creaky voice to be more perceptually salient in the speech of women than men. As a result, I propose that women use creaky voice more often than men because it is more salient in their speech and may thus more easily carry social meaning.



gender, fundamental frequency, phonetics, voice quality