You are here: Home Publications Harsh voice quality and its association with blackness in popular American media

Harsh voice quality and its association with blackness in popular American media

Moisik, S. R. (2013). Harsh voice quality and its association with blackness in popular American media. Phonetica, 4, 193-215. doi:10.1159/000351059.
Performers use various laryngeal settings to create voices for characters and personas they portray. Although some research demonstrates the sociophonetic associations of laryngeal voice quality, few studies have documented or examined the role of harsh voice quality, particularly with vibration of the epilaryngeal structures (growling). This article qualitatively examines phonetic properties of vocal performances in a corpus of popular American media and evaluates the association of voice qualities in these performances with representations of social identity and stereotype. In several cases, contrasting laryngeal states create sociophonetic contrast, and harsh voice quality is paired with the portrayal of racial stereotypes of black people. These cases indicate exaggerated emotional states and are associated with yelling/shouting modes of expression. Overall, however, the functioning of harsh voice quality as it occurs in the data is broader and may involve aggressive posturing, comedic inversion of aggressiveness, vocal pathology, and vocal homage
About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.

 

Street address
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands


Mailing address
P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
Fax:        +31-24-3521213
E-mail:   


Public Outreach Officer
Charlotte Horn