10/18/2011 03:48 pm ET | Updated Dec 18, 2011

Jill Abramson's Voice Analyzed By Linguists

Auletta and Trawick-Smith are talking about Ms. Abramson's performance in a PBS NewsHour interview, "New York Times Names First Woman to Executive Editor Job", 6/2/2011:

The features that caught their attention are (I think) on display in Ms. Abramson's response to Jim Lehrer's first question, "what does it mean to you to become the executive editor of The New York Times?":

In fact, two of the unusual features of her vocal style are on display in her first six words, "It means the world to me uh":

The first feature is the long, low, loud, level tail of the phrase — 1.048 seconds of essentially level pitch at the bottom of her pitch range, which is about 141 Hz, and at a sound level similar (average of 50 dB) to the level of the most prominent syllable in the phrase ("world", with an average of about 52 dB).