Sociophonetic analysis of young Peninsular Spanish women’s voice quality

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In the speech of certain female speakers of Peninsular Spanish (PS) one observes the use of hoarse voice, a salient non-modal phonation type. In this paper, we examined its phonetic correlates and social meaning. Among women who have hoarse voice, significantly lower H1-H2 values were found than those who have modal voice. These production data were then used as stimuli in a classification task where 50 native listeners of PS described the personal characteristics of speakers from each group. The hoarse group was judged as <i>apathetic </i>and <i>strong</i> significantly more than the modal group, which, in turn, was judged as <i>feminine</i>, <i>intelligent, </i>and<i> urban </i>significantly more than the hoarse group. hoarse voice speakers were also judged as smokers significantly more often than modal group speakers. Our results show that voice quality carries social meaning in PS for young Spanish women.


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