VOICE QUALITY. The characteristic sound of the VOICE brought about by the mode of vibration of the vocal cords or folds. Differences in the degree and manner of glottal closure distinguish modal voice and whisper, and breathy voice and whispery voice. The quality of the voice also depends on the degree of tension in the larynx and pharynx, and on the vertical displacement of the larynx: a raised larynx produces a thin tense voice, and a lowered larynx a booming ‘clergyman's’ voice. Apart from distinguishing voiced and voiceless sounds, voice quality does not make linguistic contrasts, but conveys information about the speaker, such as language or dialect background, individuality, and emotional state. See ACCENT.
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