Electroglottographic evaluation of gender and vowel effects during modal and vocal fry phonation

Yang Chen, Michael Robb, Harvey R. Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Two unique characteristics of vocal fry register are the occurrence of multiple opening and closing phases occurring within one vibratory cycle and a similar vocal fundamental frequency (F0) between women and men. The present study tested the hypothesis that significant differences in glottal cycle symmetry exist between women and men during modal phonation, with no significant differences during vocal fry phonation. Consistent with previous studies of modal phonation, it was also hypothesized that a vowel effect would be apparent during vocal fry phonation. Five women and 5 men sustained modal and vocal fry phonations in four vowel contexts (/a, æ, u, i/). Vocal F0, duration of opening and closing phase, and contact symmetry (speed quotient) were derived from electroglottographic (EGG) waveforms. Both female and male speakers demonstrated significantly higher SQ values in vocal fry register than in their modal register, indicating a longer opening-phase duration per glottal cycle. Women demonstrated a significantly greater increase in SQ during vocal fry phonations than men, indicating greater asymmetry between opening and closing durations. The results confirmed that gender differences in vocal fold contact behavior not only exist during modal register but also during vocal fry register. No vowel effects on vocal fold contact behavior as inferred using the SQ measure were found for either modal or vocal fry registers. Possible contributing factors to multiple opening and closing phases occurring within a vibratory cycle are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-829
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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