creaky voice
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In
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because it entails a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise analysis of all aspects of language, particularly its nature and structure. Linguis ...
, creaky voice (sometimes called laryngealisation, pulse phonation,
vocal fry The human voice consists of sound In physics, sound is a vibration that propagates as an acoustic wave, through a transmission medium such as a gas, liquid or solid. In human physiology and psychology, sound is the ''reception'' of such ...
, or glottal fry) refers to a low, scratchy sound that occupies the vocal range below the common vocal register. It is a special kind of
phonation The term phonation has slightly different meanings depending on the subfield of phonetics. Among some phoneticians, ''phonation'' is the process by which the vocal folds produce certain sounds through quasi-periodic vibration. This is the def ...
in which the
arytenoid cartilage The arytenoid cartilages () are a pair of small three-sided pyramid A pyramid (from el, πυραμίς ') is a Nonbuilding structure, structure whose outer surfaces are triangular and converge to a single step at the top, making the shape r ...
s in the
larynx The larynx (), commonly called the voice box, is an organ (anatomy), organ in the top of the neck involved in breathing, producing sound and protecting the trachea against food aspiration. The opening of larynx into pharynx known as the laryngeal ...
are drawn together; as a result, the
vocal folds In humans, vocal cords, also known as vocal folds or voice reeds, are folds of throat tissues that are key in creating sounds through vocalization. The size of vocal cords affects the pitch of voice. Open when breathing and vibrating for speech ...
are compressed rather tightly, becoming relatively slack and compact. They normally vibrate irregularly at 20–50 pulses per second, about two octaves below the frequency of modal voicing, and the airflow through the
glottis The glottis is the opening between the vocal folds (the rima glottidis). The glottis is crucial in producing vowels and Voice (phonetics), voiced consonants. Etymology From Ancient Greek ''γλωττίς'' (glōttís), derived from ''γλῶτ ...
is very slow. Although creaky voice may occur with very low
pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency * Pitch (music), the perceived frequency of sound including "definite pitch" and "indefinite pitch" ** Absolute pitch or "perfect pitch" ** Pitch class, a set of all pitches that are a whole number of octave ...
, as at the end of a long intonation unit, it can also occur with a higher pitch. All contribute to make a speaker's voice sound creaky or raspy.


In phonology

In the
Received Pronunciation Received Pronunciation (RP) is the accent traditionally regarded as the standard and most prestigious form of spoken British English British English (BrE, en-GB, or BE) is, according to Oxford Dictionaries, " English as used in Gre ...
of English, creaky voice has been described as a possible realisation of glottal reinforcement. For example, an alternative phonetic transcription of ''attempt'' could be . In some languages, such as Jalapa Mazatec, creaky voice has a phonemic status; that is, the presence or absence of creaky voice can change the meaning of a word. In the
International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written graphemes (called letter (alphabet), letters) that represent the phonemes of certain spoken languages. Not all writing syste ...
, creaky voice of a
phone A telephone is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be easily heard directly. A telephone converts sound, typically and most efficiently the human voice, into ele ...
is represented by a
diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph added to a letter (alphabet), letter or to a basic glyph. The term derives from the Ancient Greek (, "distinguishing"), from (, "to distinguish"). T ...
al
tilde The tilde () or , is a grapheme with several uses. The name of the character came into English from Spanish language, Spanish, which in turn came from the Latin ''wikt:titulus, titulus'', meaning "title" or "superscription". Its primary us ...
, for example . The Danish
prosodic In linguistics, prosody () is concerned with elements of speech that are not individual phonetic segment (linguistics), segments (vowels and consonants) but are properties of syllables and larger units of speech, including linguistic functions su ...
feature ''
stød Stød (, also occasionally spelled stod in English) is a Prosody (linguistics), suprasegmental unit of Danish phonology (represented in non-standard IPA as ), which in its most common form is a kind of creaky voice (laryngealization), but it may a ...
'' is an example of a form of laryngealisation that has a
phonemic In phonology and linguistics, a phoneme () is a unit of sound that can distinguish one word from another in a particular language. For example, in most List of dialects of English, dialects of English, with the notable exception of the West M ...
function. A slight degree of laryngealisation, occurring in some
Korean language Korean (South Korean: , ''hangugeo''; North Korean: , ''chosŏnmal'') is the native language for about 80 million people, mostly of Koreans, Korean descent. It is the official language, official and national language of both North Korea and So ...
consonants for example, is called "
stiff voice The term stiff voice describes the pronunciation of consonants or vowels with a glottal opening narrower, and the vocal folds stiffer, than occurs in modal voice. Although there is no specific International Phonetic Alphabet, IPA diacritic for stif ...
".


Social aspects

Use of creaky voice across general speech and in singing is termed "vocal fry". Some evidence exists of vocal fry becoming more common in the speech of young female speakers of American English in the early 21st century, with researcher Ikuko Patricia Yuasa finding that college-age Americans perceived female creaky voice as "hesitant, nonaggressive, and informal but also educated, urban-oriented, and upwardly mobile." It is subsequently theorized that vocal fry may be a way for women to sound more "authoritative" and credible by using it to emulate the deeper male register. Yuasa further theorizes that because California is at the center of American popular culture and much of the entertainment industry is rooted there, young Americans may unconsciously be using creaky voice more because of the media they consume.


See also

*
Creaky-voiced glottal approximant The creaky-voiced glottal approximant is a consonant sound in some languages. In the IPA, it is transcribed as or . It involves tension in the glottis and diminution of airflow, compared to surrounding vowels, but not full occlusion. Features ...
*
Vocal fry register The vocal fry register (also known as pulse register, laryngealization, pulse phonation, creaky voice, creak, croak, popcorning, glottal fry, glottal rattle, glottal scrape) is the lowest vocal register and is produced through a loose glottal clos ...


References


Further reading

*
"Word of Mouth: Young Women as Linguistic Innovators"
BBC Radio 4, 18 May 2015, from c. 17:40 mins. {{phonation Phonation br:Mouezh wigourus fr:Voix craquée no:Knirkestemme nn:Knirkestemme