Journal of the International Phonetic Association

Phonetic Representation

The VoQS System for the Transcription of Voice Quality

Martin J. Balla1, John Eslinga2 and Craig Dicksona2

a1 Department of Behavioural and Communication Sciences, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim BT37 0QB. N. Ireland

a2 Department of Linguistics, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3P4

While the history of interest in voice quality dates back at least as far as Henry Sweet (e.g. 1890), there was for many years little agreement on how to classify voice quality or how to transcribe it as part of a phonetic transcription. Indeed, there is not even agreement on precisely what the term covers in that it is often restricted to aspects of voice quality derived from vocal fold activity, rather than the fuller meaning which encompasses features derived from supralaryngeal settings of the articulators. Authors such as Nolan (1983) have used the phrase long-term quality as an alternative; however, in this article we will retain the traditional term but with a wide application to account for voice quality derived from airflow features, vocal fold activity, and supralaryngeal activity.