The Effects of Pitch, Gender, and Prosodic Context on the Identification of Creaky Voice

Lisa Davidson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background/Aims: Creaky voice in American English plays both a prosodic role, as a phrase-final marker, and a sociolinguistic one, but it is unclear how accurately naïve listeners can identify creak, and what factors facilitate or hinder ist identification. Methods: In this study, American listeners are presented with 2 experiments containing stimuli from both high- and low-pitched male and female speakers. Other manipulations include whether the auditory stimulus is a full sentence or a sentence fragment, and whether it is completely modally voiced, completely creaky, or partially creaky (final 40-50% of the utterance). Results: Accuracy is lowest on partial creak, suggesting that creaky voice is least salient when it serves as an utterance-final marker. There are no strong gender effects aside from a weak tendency to identify creak more often in females than males in the whole creak condition in one experiment. In contrast, when no creak is present, listeners false alarm on the low-pitched males. Conclusion: Rates of identifying creak in male and female speakers are similar, suggesting that listeners have a comparable ability to hear creaky voice in all speakers.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)235-262
    Number of pages28
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 2018

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
    • Linguistics and Language


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