Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology
Glottal fry (GF) is the lowest range of pitches of three speaking registers and is not commonly used throughout conversational speech; however, scholars suggest that GF may be used in modern conversational speech more so than in the past. Thus, there has been increasing interest as to how this register is perceived by listeners. To date, research has been inconclusive as to whether this register is viewed positively or negatively. Further, it is unclear whether its use in media may affect how college-age women connect with and consume media containing it. Thus, this study aimed to determine how college-age females felt about a media speaker who used high versus low amounts of GF. One group of women, known as the low-fry listening (LFL) group, listened to a 4.5-minute audio-media sample containing minimal amounts of GF. The other group, known as the high-fry listening (HFL) group, was exposed to high amounts of GF within the same 4.5 narrative. The verbal content of each sample was identical, with only the predominant vocal register differing. The sample discussed a topic that college-age female listeners should be able to identify with (i.e., loneliness in college). After participants listened to the audio sample, they completed self-report measures to determine how connected and similar they felt they were to the speaker (homophily), how much they wished to be like the speaker (wishful identification), how pleasant they felt the speaker’s voice was, and whether they wished to listen to the speaker again. Initial findings indicate that LFL versus HFL participants rated feeling similarly homiphilous in attitude and connected to the LF versus HF speaker. While the LFL group rated feeling more homophilous in background to the LF speaker than the HFL group did toward the HF speaker, this difference was not significant. LFL participants did indicate significantly more wishful identification with the LF speaker than HFL participants indicated for the HF speaker. Similarly, LFL participants indicated a significantly greater desire to listen to the LF speaker again when compared to the HFL participants desire to listen the HF speaker. LFL participants rated the LF speaker’s voice as significantly more pleasant than the HFL participants rated the HF speaker’s voice. These results suggest that college-age women may perceive minimal vocal fry as more pleasant and desirable indicating the perpetuation of this vocal register. While the facilitation of this vocal register is not inherently harmful or disorderly, it is produced with lower subglottic pressure within the lungs compared to other vocal registers, making it an inefficient way to utilize the voice during speaking tasks.
Logsdon, Erin Meyer, "College-Age Female’s Wishful Identification and Homophily With a Media Figure Using High Versus Low Amounts of Glottal Fry" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 1556.
Available for download on Friday, December 30, 2022