Also called murmur. A phonation type characterised by accompanying friction noise at the glottis. The pattern of vibration of the vocal folds is such that the open phase is very long and a considerable volume of air is released on each cycle of vibration. Breathy voice is used in many languages as a paralinguistic signal of passion. Some languages, Hindi is an example, have breathy voiced segments in contrast with modal voiced varieties. In these cases, the breathy voice is often called “voiced aspiration”.
The IPA diacritic for breathy voice is a diaeresis below (U+0324) as in a̤.
Click on the icon to hear a sound file (.mp3), which will open in a new page or tab.
Laryngograph waveform of breathy voice