Date of Award

January 2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Linguistics

First Advisor

Mark E. Karan

Abstract

Young women have conflicting motivations directing how they use pitch, vocal fry, and uptalk intonation. High pitch and uptalk may emphasize their femininity, but low pitch and vocal fry are associated with better leadership. Thus, it is difficult to predict how young women will speak in a particular situation. This thesis measures how 16 young women used pitch, vocal fry, and uptalk in three different speech styles collected through videoconferencing calls. Surveys determined how the changes in speech affected the listener’s judgments of the speaker. The lowest average pitch was in interview style speech and the largest range of pitch in casual style speech. The young women used more uptalk in interview style speech than in presentation or casual speech. The highest amount of fry was in presentation style speech. Male participants were more likely than female participants to judge a speaker using uptalk as less competent.

Share

COinS