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Critically Speaking

Mar 17, 2021

When we hear someone call on the phone, we often recognize them by their voice. They don't even have to announce their name. So what exactly is a voice? How's it produced? Why is your voice different from other people? We take so much for granted about being able to speak and hear that we don't even stop to think about where voices come from what causes the uniqueness of a person's voice. In today’s episode, Therese Markow and Dr. Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer answer many of these questions and so much more. 


 Key Takeaways:

  • As kids, our voices start out gender-neutral. Kids are smaller so they have really short vocal folds. The tissues don't quite have the differentiation they acquire with use, growth, and time. Girls and boys really change, height and size, similarly up until adolescence. 
  • Pitch range is linked  to the variable ways in which we grow and our our ultimate sizes. The morphology, so to speak, of our body makeup can predict our pitch and our pitch ranges.
  • What gives us the impression of male or female, however, is word choice. If we are visibly observing that individual there may be body posturing and gestures are mannerisms that we accept as being more masculine or feminine, and speaking style, how we use our pitch and our prosody differently as males and females.


"We commonly think of the primary attribute of being male or female is being pitched, but, actually, there's so much more to it." —  Dr. Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer


Connect with Dr. Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer:

Professional Bio:



Connect with Therese:


Twitter: @CritiSpeak




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