Oliveira, Gisele; Behlau, Mara
May 2010
Revista CEFAC;2010, Vol. 12 Issue 3, p1
Academic Journal
Purpose: to describe the vocal quality of Hollywood movies characters playing elderly people roles. Methods: a total of 50 aged character voice samples were used, 11 female and 39 male, from 38 Hollywood movies from the period between 1993 and 2001. Twenty speech therapists performed a perceptual auditory analysis. The listener's task required classifying each character either as elderly or as adult by their speech features, and also assessing their voices following the parameters that are most frequently addressed in the literature as being disordered at an old age. The parameters were hoarseness, vocal fry, breathiness, strain, roughness, vocal weakness, nasal resonance, tremor, vocal modulation, pitch and fundamental frequency stability. Results: after the perceptual auditory analysis we noted that a great number of actors (82%) used senile voices indicating old age, even though not all of them were elderly. The most salient voice set altered was vocal quality (92%), demonstrated by vocal fry (80%), breathiness (54%), strain (38%), hoarseness (30%), and weak voice (28%). The second vocal set most used by the actors for their roles was extensive vocal modulation (44%). It was also observed that vocal instability (64%) was used by the actors. Conclusion: it can be concluded from the results that Hollywood movies characterize the elderly characters through evident deviations in vocal quality and modulation, using disordered types of voices and vocal unstable and extensive modulation.


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