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'I Am a Perpetual Underdog': Lady Gaga's Use of Creaky Voice in the Construction of a Sincere Pop Star Persona

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dc.contributor.advisor Sanders, Nathan Esposito, Lewis 2015-12-18T17:37:21Z 2015-12-18T17:37:21Z 2016
dc.description.abstract Creaky voice. a vibratory phonation produced when the cartilage from the front and back of the larynx are pressed closely together (Zirnrnan 2013), has received significant media attention in recent years, particularly for its prevalence in the speech of female American pop stars, such as Kesha, Brimey Spears, and Lady Gaga. Recent studies (Yuasa 2010; Podesva 2013) have found that the phonation is more pervasively employed by American women than men, which is in contrast to earlier studies showing its associations with upper-class males in the UK (Henton-Bladon 1988; Esling 1978; Stuart-Smith 1999). Ye~ until recently (Zirnrnan 2015; Levon 2015), few smdies have extensively analyzed its potential social meanings from an intraspeaker perspective. Additionally, none examine its usage among the women noted above. Firmly situated within the realm of third-wave intraspeaker variation studies, this thesis considers Lady Gaga's use of creaky voice across four different speech samples - two interviews and two speeches - to discern her possible stylistic usage of the phenomenon. ] find that the calculated percentage of creak is highest in the most personal of the samples and lowest in one of the speeches. Considering these results along with the conversational contexts in which creak is most prevalent, I argue that she employs creaky voice to take an affective stance of intimacy and convey character traits of openness and sincerity. Further, I argue that these meanings arise out of creak's iconicity with a 'contained' emotional state. This thesis (1) adds to the growing body of literature examining the indexical meanings of creaky voice in American English, (2) offers evidence for stance-based persona construction, and (3) emphasizes the importance of considering variation in interaction. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Swarthmore College. Dept. of Linguistics en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.rights Full copyright to this work is retained by the student author. It may only be used for non-commercial, research, and educational purposes. All other uses are restricted.
dc.title 'I Am a Perpetual Underdog': Lady Gaga's Use of Creaky Voice in the Construction of a Sincere Pop Star Persona en_US
dc.type Thesis (B.A.)

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