Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
Sue and I are in our late 70's and suddenly realize that almost all
NPR's female announcers speak with a gravelly tone. How and when
and why did this transition occur? Thank you! Richard Gross
I believe you are referring to what is variously called “vocal fry”, “creaky voice” or “glottalisation”.
It seems to be a recent trend/fashion among (young) females and, to my knowledge, it has been reported/studied mostly among English-speakers, whether in Britain, the US or Australia.
These reports have more on this topic.
From the UK:
From the US:
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