The Effect of Bilingualism on Production and Perception of Vocal Fry

Lady Catherine Cantor-Cutiva, Pasquale Bottalico, Jossemia Webster, Charles Nudelman, Eric Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: (1) Determine the difference in vocal fry phonation in English and Spanish productions among bilingual young adults, (2) Characterize the effect of spoken language and native language on vocal fry production among English-Spanish bilingual speakers, (3) Identify the effect of first and second language knowledge of the listener in the voice perceptual assessment, and (4) Define the effect of the environment of the assessment (in situ vs. online), in the voice perceptual assessment. Method: Exploratory cross-sectional study of 34 bilingual (Spanish-English) speakers and six inexperienced listeners. Participating speakers produced two speech samples (one in English and one in Spanish). Six inexperienced monolingual and bilingual listeners performed the voice perceptual assessment of vocal fry, General grade of hoarseness, and Roughness using a 4-point rating scale. Results: Bilingual speakers used vocal fry more often when they were speaking in English (around 3%) compared with their production in Spanish (around 2%). Bilingual native English speakers used vocal fry more often during their productions in both languages compared with bilingual native Spanish speakers. Bilingual listeners had the highest agreement when identifying vocal fry in both languages. Conclusions: Differences in production of vocal fry between native speakers of American English and native speakers of Spanish may be evidence of transferring of vocal behavior (such as vocal fry) from one language to the second one. In addition, being a bilingual listener may have an important effect on the perceptual identification of voice quality in English and Spanish, as well as vocal fry in English.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)970.e1-970.e10
JournalJournal of Voice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Bilingualism
  • Perceptual assessment of voice
  • Vocal fry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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