Measures of the Glottal Source Spectrum Purpose Many researchers have studied the acoustics, physiology, and perceptual characteristics of the voice source, but despite significant attention, it remains unclear which aspects of the source should be quantified and how measurements should be made. In this study, the authors examined the relationships among a number of existing measures ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2007
Measures of the Glottal Source Spectrum
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jody Kreiman
    University of California, Los Angeles
  • Bruce R. Gerratt
    University of California, Los Angeles
  • Norma Antoñanzas-Barroso
    University of California, Los Angeles
  • Contact author: Jody Kreiman, Division of Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine, 31-24 Rehab Center, 1000 Veteran Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1794. E-mail: jkreiman@ucla.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2007
Measures of the Glottal Source Spectrum
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2007, Vol. 50, 595-610. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/042)
History: Received January 12, 2005 , Revised February 22, 2006 , Accepted September 11, 2006
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2007, Vol. 50, 595-610. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/042)
History: Received January 12, 2005; Revised February 22, 2006; Accepted September 11, 2006

Purpose Many researchers have studied the acoustics, physiology, and perceptual characteristics of the voice source, but despite significant attention, it remains unclear which aspects of the source should be quantified and how measurements should be made. In this study, the authors examined the relationships among a number of existing measures of the glottal source spectrum, along with the association of these measures to overall spectral shapes and to glottal pulse shapes, to determine which measures of the source best capture information about the shapes of glottal pulses and glottal source spectra.

Method Seventy-eight different measures of source spectral shapes were made on the voices of 70 speakers. Principal components analysis was applied to measurement data, and the resulting factors were compared with factors similarly derived from oral speech spectra and glottal pulses.

Results Results revealed high levels of duplication and overlap among existing measures of source spectral slope. Further, existing measures were not well aligned with patterns of spectral variability. In particular, existing spectral measures do not appear to model the higher frequency parts of the source spectrum adequately.

Conclusion The failure of existing measures to adequately quantify spectral variability may explain why results of studies examining the perceptual importance of spectral slope have not produced consistent results. Because variability in the speech signal is often perceptually salient, these results suggest that most existing measures of source spectral slope are unlikely to be good predictors of voice quality.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by Grant DC01797 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Portions of these results were presented at the 147th and 148th meetings of the Acoustical Society of America in New York City and San Diego, CA, respectively. We thank Paavo Alku, Helen Hanson, and Michael Döllinger for advice regarding implementation of the spectral measures and Sumiko Takayanagi for statistical advice. We also thank Gunnar Fant and two anonymous reviewers for many helpful comments.
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