Whispered sentence endings in Spanish

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Tomás
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Whispered sentence endings in Spanish

Postby Tomás » Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:41 pm

I have listened to a number of online courses on MiriadaX, and have noticed that a number of the professors in Spain tend to whisper the last word or two of a sentence when they are concluding a thought. At first I thought it was only the men, but today I have discovered a female professor who also does it.

Is this a trend only in the Spanish academy, or is it more widespread?
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Tomás
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Re: Whispered sentence endings in Spanish

Postby Tomás » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:21 am

Here she is, the worst offender:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XlL4KA--uk

It's so distracting. I can't focus on what she's saying, because I'm waiting for the whispered sentence at the end of the thought.
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Axon
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Re: Whispered sentence endings in Spanish

Postby Axon » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:06 am

I listen to a Mexican podcast where the narrator does the same thing. Perhaps it's just the way some Spanish speakers speak when giving presentations.
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Re: Whispered sentence endings in Spanish

Postby arthaey » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:02 am

Wow, that's quite odd. I'd chalk it up to idiosyncratic presenters though. I'm pretty sure I've heard similar things in English too.
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blaurebell
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Re: Whispered sentence endings in Spanish

Postby blaurebell » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:58 am

I suspect that this is actually because they speak too loudly in general. In Spain people talk very very loudly, they are almost shouting! If you do that all your life it creates a certain strain for the voice. Middle aged ladies around here usually have very rough voices as a result. So, part of it might be that they are somewhat losing their voice and also that producing a falling intonation when you're almost shouting is quite difficult. I suppose that the whispered sentence ending is a substitute.
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Re: Whispered sentence endings in Spanish

Postby s_allard » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:51 am

I looked at the video in question and a few others of the same series. I wouldn't call this whispering. In my opinion, it's simply the falling intonation that one finds at the end of declarative sentences in peninsular Spanish. We see it for example at 0:17 with "del sistema penal".

This may be particularly striking in this speaker because I suspect she has not had professional voice training, but this is a general feature of Spanish intonation. Once you get used to it, it shouldn't be a problem.
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