The Perception of Coolness: Voice Quality and Its Social Uses and Interpretations
This work examined the social uses and interpretations of voice quality with respect to 6 social styles: coolness, authoritativeness, youthfulness, attractiveness, femininity, and masculinity. The following questions were investigated: (1) is there a sex differentiation with respect to the use of creaky voice; and (2) why are women using creaky voice more frequently than in past generations? These questions were addressed through 3 studies: a word-level perception pilot study, a production study, and a sentence-level perception study. The results showed that female speakers produce significantly more creaky voice than men, but both sexes use creaky voice to index the same social styles of “coolness” and “masculinity”. Listeners judged stimuli containing greater percentages of creaky voice as “cooler” and more “masculine”. Additionally, perceived “attractiveness” was tied to traditional concepts of gender roles. The increased female use of creaky voice seemed to stem from a desire to appear less “feminine” and more “masculine”, indicating that creaky voice is an overt prestige form.
Greer, S. (2015). The Perception of Coolness: Voice Quality and Its Social Uses and Interpretations (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca. doi:10.11575/PRISM/28269