Harold Ford Jr. May Have a Southern Twang, But Kirsten Gillibrand Talks Like a Teenage Girl

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"Kirsten Gillibrand has what I would call a non-regional American young female’s accent,” Dr. Bert Vaux, a sociolinguistics scholar at the University of Cambridge, tells the Observer. “Though I lack the phonetic expertise to put my finger on what exactly is involved in this, her voice quality is of the sort that is typically associated with pre-workforce-age white American females." He goes on to say that Gillibrand speaks with a "rising intonation pattern at the end of declarative clauses that lay people tend to associate with teenage girls." [NYO]