LINGUIST List 9.407

Thu Mar 19 1998

Sum: Creaky voice/formant frequencies

Editor for this issue: Elaine Halleck <>


  1. Silvia Moosmueller, Creaky voice/formant frequencies

Message 1: Creaky voice/formant frequencies

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 16:17:58 MET-1MEST
From: Silvia Moosmueller <>
Subject: Creaky voice/formant frequencies

Some time ago I asked a colleague to ask whether anybody knows
literature on the influence of creaky voice on formant frequencies. I
am working on speaker recognition and the reason, why I am interested
in this question is that especially females, when they try to disguise
their voice, use creak. During the production of creak it might be the
case that the larynx is lowered (I personally do this), so this would
create an effect on formant frequencies.

The following references have been posted:

Alexander Robertson Coupe recommended 
Ladefoged, Peter, Ian Maddieson and Michael T.T. Jackson (1988):
"Investigation Phonation Types in Different Languages". In: Osamu
Fujimura (ed.): Vocal Physiology: Voice Production, Mechanisms and
Functions. Neww York: Raven, pp. 297-317. A possible effect of creaky
voice on F1 is mentioned; the authors observed a slightly raised F1 in
the creak vowel which they attributed to a raising of the larynx.

Marc Picard and John Reighard suggested Peter Ladefoged and Ian
Maddieson (1996): The sounds of the world's languages. Oxford:
Blackwell. The section on phonation types is a summary of the 1988

Anne T. Gilman recommended A. Batlinger et al. (1993): MUESLI: A
Classification Scheme for Laryngalizations. In. D. House and P. Touati
(ed.) .ESCA Prosody Worksop 1993, Working Papers, Lund, pp. 176-179.
This is an excellent description of different types of
laryngealizations, but unfortunately the effect on formant frequencies
is not mentioned.

She also recommended Olive, J.P., Greenwood, A. and Coleman, J.S.
(1993): Acoustics of American English Speech, New York: Springer,
which I have not yet looked at.

Bart de Boer kindly sent measurements of creaky, modal and breathy
vowels of his own voice, there was not much influence on formant

Helmer Strik expects no influences on formant frequencies, since creak
is an expression of voice source which does not influence the vocal
tract and its shape.

Thanks to all who took the time to help
Sylvia Moosmueller
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