Lend Your Voice:
For Important Research Study
August 27, 2004
MILWAUKEE – A researcher at Marquette University is seeking
participants for a study of African-American voices that will
ultimately help doctors treat patients with voice disorders. Dr.
Sue Ellen Linville will spend the next three years studying African-
American voices to determine whether vocal-aging patterns identified
in Americans of European descent apply to the African-American
population as well.
The data Dr. Linville collects will help treat a variety of conditions.
Since a number of neurological disorders have a voice characteristic
as one of the early symptoms (for example, in Parkinson's disease,
a voice tremor is symptomatic), Linville's findings may offer
physicians another tool to use when diagnosing normal vocal aging
versus a change that may be symptomatic of a serious health problem.
Her research will go beyond studying acoustic characteristics
in the voices of young African-American adults (ages 21-29) and
older adults (over 65). She will also look at how a person's culture
factors into vocal aging.
"There is evidence that the pitch of women's voices in general
has lowered during the past 30 years. Most likely that is a result
of most women being in the workplace and the lower pitch is more
authoritative," Linville says to explain the impact a cultural
factor can carry. She hopes to find out if similar influences
can be identified among African-Americans as they age.
Linville and her research assistants will select 128 people in
the immediate community to participate in the three year project.
If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Sue
Ellen Linville, at (414) 288-1406 or by
e-mail at email@example.com.