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Sensible person Okira Okrent writes about vocal fry, another complaint that old people have about young people. It's the same as creaky voice.

Listen to creaky voice in Mazatec

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I don't notice this vocal pattern, but so-called "uptalk" drives me up the wall. It makes me think its users are making a question of declarations. Maybe the "vocal fry" types are trying to learn throat singing.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCom9ZCJAmE

Why is there a photo of an over-made up Amrenian atop that link?

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Originally posted by Geoff:

Why is there a photo of an over-made up Amrenian atop that link?


Kim Kardashian is known to use vocal fry.

Attitudes to uptalk, like vocal fry, might say more about the listener than the speaker. Apparently George W Bush used uptalk a lot.
 
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Apparently George W Bush used uptalk a lot.

Too bad he never used upthink.

I've noticed vocal fry locally on several occasions.


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Very interesting, Goofy. I hadn't realized it had a name, but that vocal fry certainly annoys me.

Uptalk seems very Canadian to me. When our Canadian members come in for meetings, I always end up with uptalk.
 
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Originally posted by goofy:


Attitudes to uptalk, like vocal fry, might say more about the listener than the speaker. Apparently George W Bush used uptalk a lot.

What does it say about me, other than I didn't like Dubya? As for Armenians with fancy makeup, I think there are better icons of Armenian heritage than Kardassian. Saroyan, Khachaturian, Kevorkian (Oops, bad example) Sarkasian, Agasi, etc.

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I was referring to what Okrent wrote:

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Glass talked to linguist Penny Eckert, who did a study asking people to rate how authoritative a radio reporter with vocal fry sounded. The response depended on the age of the rater. Those under 40 thought it sounded authoritative while those over 40 did not. Basically, as summed up by Glass, “if people are having a problem with these reporters on the radio, what it means is they're old.”


I was saying that there was a similar phenomenon with uptalk, but actually I have no idea.
 
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I'm old, so it does apply to me. I'm all for pitch, pace, and modulation, but not faddish vocalizations. I did, however, enjoy Pat Buttram's yodeling voice of bygone days.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Buttram It never became a fad; just a quirky signature.
 
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faddish vocalizations

Uptalk isn't a fad, it's been around for a long time and used by all sorts of people.
 
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Funny how you don't really take note of things until they're pointed out. Today I noticed vocal fry is fairly common in commercials featuring "spokesmodels" for a number of beauty products. Is this planned or just a coincidence that all these women affect this throaty rumble when finishing sentences?


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I am at a conference and have heard a few people speaking with the vocal fry - I hadn't named that that sound before.
 
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Originally posted by goofy:
faddish vocalizations

Uptalk isn't a fad, it's been around for a long time and used by all sorts of people.

Then why didn't I hear it frequently prior to the last decade? It seems to have reached the "critical mass" needed to go mainstream pretty recently.

Hmmmm... Critical Mass is one conduted by Martin Luther, isn't it? Roll Eyes
 
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I can't say why you haven't noticed it, but uptalk has been around at least since the eighties and maybe decades before that and it is used many many different kinds of people in many different countries. That does not make it a fad imo.
 
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Then why didn't I hear it frequently prior to the last decade?
Geoff, I think it's mostly seen by our Canadian friends. I haven't seen it that much in the U.S., until of course we've been around Canadians for awhile. Wink
 
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It is apparently one of those affectations that passes unnoticed, unless your attention is called to it.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
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Just chiming in belatedly. The 'uptalk' a/k/a Valley-Girl accent is on the wane. At this point, we only hear it from those who were born to it (like my nearly-70yo Chicago cousin?!)- this is an accent which has its roots in Amish-PA/IL, somehow picked up by Valley girls, going back decades. It's no longer a fad. Whereas the 'vocal fry' is most definitely a current fad among 20-somethings, judging anecdotally from sons & their gfs. As a singer, it sounds to my ears like a vocal-cord-harmer, & hopefully anchors/reporters will get a clue & drop it.

One of my recent choral-directors used to note testily that he could barely stand to listen to NPR classical-music station hosts... I can't remember his words describing their voices [something like 'undervoice'?] but I recognized his description: a sort-of alto under-voice, as though opening the throat & speaking from a lower-than-natural place. Ring any bells?
 
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Vocal fry is not a fad. It's been studied since the 60s.

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3626
 
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At least on the internet, though, it is considered a fad (not great evidence, I know). Can't something that has been studied awhile ago still become a fad? Women's chunky heels have been around for a long time, but they are a fad now.
 
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Originally posted by Kalleh:
Can't something that has been studied awhile ago still become a fad? Women's chunky heels have been around for a long time, but they are a fad now.


I guess so. But isn't a fad a conscious decision?
 
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Here's what the dictionary says: "an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object's qualities; a craze." This would be like sideburns and bell bottoms in the 70s, but I'd think they could come back as another fad some day. I am not sure what you mean by a fad being a "conscious decision."
 
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I decide to buy and wear bell bottoms, but I don't decide to compress my vocal folds at the end of an utterance. I'm willing to bet that most people who use vocal fry don't know they are using it and would not be able to explain why they are using it.
 
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Maybe it's an atavistic trait being expressed. Maybe once all languages were inflective?

I quit wearing bell bottoms when an ex-girlfriend said, "Why wear them when you have such a short clapper?" Frown Eek
 
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I'm willing to bet that most people who use vocal fry don't know they are using it and would not be able to explain why they are using it

Maybe, goofy. I'm wondering if they can quit using it, though I'll know shortly. Everyone liked that woman's voice with the vocal fry, so they were going to hire her and tell her to take it easy on the vocal fry (a term I had clued them into). I even wonder, though, if she'll know what is meant, and I completely doubt she'll be able to take it easy.
 
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Originally posted by goofy:
I decide to buy and wear bell bottoms, but I don't decide to compress my vocal folds at the end of an utterance. I'm willing to bet that most people who use vocal fry don't know they are using it and would not be able to explain why they are using it.


Maybe but every time we speak we make a choice about not just the words we say but our tone of voice, our volume, our body language and all the other things that communicate our meaning. We may do these things more or less automatically but we do them . With something like vocal fry people may well start off using it intentionally but then get into the habit so that what begins as a conscious decision becomes more unconscious over time. I see it as being something like register. When I am first in a situation where a different register is advisable I am initially very aware that I have shifted the way I am speaking but the more time that passes the less I even notice it.
 
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Yes, I agree, Bob. My son used to hang out with guys with a strong African-American dialect, or whatever it's called (accent?). I thought that was how he was always going to talk. However, his friends changed, and suddenly he is back speaking like he always did. I think your statement about getting into the habit makes a lot of sense.
 
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While we are sometimes language chameleons, reflecting our peers, we don't lose accents nearly as easily. How does one account for that?
 
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Back in the day I was a keen fell walker (hill walker). I often would go with friends to the Lake District (Cumbria, Northern England). We'd spend evenings in the local pub, and after about a week I'd catch myself unconsciously copying the Cumbrian accent when chatting to the locals. When I noticed it I'd try to stop in case someone took offence, thinking I was mocking them, but I still tended to carry on doing it.

Oddly, I didn't notice any of my friends doing it -they were all Londoners like me.


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Same here, arnie. Many of my colleagues are from Canada, and as soon as I have a conversation with them, the inflection rises at the end of my sentences, similar to my Canadian friends. I also don't notice that this happens with others.
 
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Originally posted by BobHale:
With something like vocal fry people may well start off using it intentionally but then get into the habit so that what begins as a conscious decision becomes more unconscious over time.


My feeling is that most people start using it and continue to use it unconsciously, but who knows.
 
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I was certainly just speculating. I can't think of a way it could be tested.
 
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Originally posted by Geoff:
While we are sometimes language chameleons, reflecting our peers, we don't lose accents nearly as easily. How does one account for that?
I'd guess short-term vs long-term memory... But I'm not sure. When I'm w/family in upstate NY where I grew up, my accent quickly back-scrolls from its current almost-metro-NYC accent (from living in the area 40+ yrs) to something more like an upstate-NY accent. But mine will never be the flat-out Inland N American (close to Chicago) accent spoken by my younger sibs. When I grew up in the '50's-'60's, the upstate NY accent was closer to mid-Atlantic & NE accent. Also, as eldest, I was more influenced by the confluence of my parents'/ grandparents' accents, which were an amalgam of NE & SE accents.
 
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So, the video with the vocal fry lady was just released. If she tried to stifle it, she didn't succeed.
 
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Another peculiarity of late is using, "so" to begin a sentence, not a clause within that sentence describing consequence of the first clause. So what's up with that? Big Grin

What video? Where does one find it?
 
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I didn't know you spoke Japanese, Bob.
 
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I love Lexicon Valley. Shu and I often listen to it while we are driving.

We also talked about the use of "so" to begin sentences here, back in 2009. You hear it a lot, but I don't like it either.
 
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