Long Island University

Long Island University

Study: Pop Singers Change The Way College Women Speak

britney Spears, ke$haA recent study suggests that college women sound different than they used to, and pop stars may be to blame.

Famous singers like Britney Spears and Ke$ha use vocal fry, described as a “creaky, rough, guttural sound,” to hit their lower notes, and it’s these notes that change the way some women sound.

Researchers from Long Island University recorded the voices of 34 college women. The study found that more than 65 percent of them used the husky “vocal fry” sounds, usually dropping into the low, croaky register towards the end of a sentence.

“My colleagues and I have noticed this speech pattern in our young female college students,” said one of the study’s authors, Nassima Abdelli-Beruh. “Interestingly, some research indicates that in some dialects of British English, male speakers use fry more often than female. So maybe it is also a gender marker.”

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