Vocal Fry Creeping Into U.S. Speech (ScienceNOW)
A curious vocal pattern has crept into the speech of young adult women who speak American English: low, creaky vibrations, also called vocal fry. Pop singers, such as Britney Spears, slip vocal fry into their music as a way to reach low notes and add style. Now, a new study of young women in New York state shows that the same guttural vibration—once considered a speech disorder—has become a language fad.
Of course, if you listen to NPR you’ve been hearing this for years, which drives me nuts for the worst offenders (I’m looking your way, every female This American Life reporter). And of course, Liz Phair was doing it before Britney even released an album:
[wpaudio url="http://www.kieranchapman.net/kieranchapman/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/GoOnAhead-vocal_fry.mp3" text="Liz Phair - Go On Ahead (sample)" dl="0"]