Use of volume in cluttering

Decreasing volume

Cluttering speakers sometimes speak – without realizing it too softly. A most frequent phenomenon in cluttering is the trailing off of the volume at the end of a sentence: as the cluttering speaker gets to the end, his volume decreases and his message becomes more difficult to understand. There is even a name for it: the night candle effect, like a candle that slowly dies. This can also occur as an isolated phenomenon, even in professional speakers.

A correct volume of speech

Speaking too loud, however, may also occur in cluttering speakers. People who clutter can experience difficulty in adjusting their speech volume. Normally, a person’s volume of speech fluctuates from 0 to 10 dB within a phrase. When a speaker’s volume is down for more than 10dB within one phrase, this is a symptom of a disorder. There are all kinds of software tools available that can help you visualizing volume of speech, next to other things like pitch or speaking pace. An example of such a tool is Praat.

‘I often say to my boyfriend that he shouldn’t talk that loud. Sometimes his sounds are just so penetrating that I’m thinking: my god, can you please shut up? That’s when I am telling him to. I believe it now starts to get through to him’.

Angela