Spectral Noise Levels and Roughness Severity Ratings for Vowels Produced by Male Children This study investigated the relationship between spectral noise level (SNL) and perceived roughness in sustained vowels phonated by children. Twenty male children, ten presenting normal vocal quality and ten presenting vocal roughness associated with benign vocal cord lesions, served as subjects. The children individually sustained each of the vowels /i/, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 1979
Spectral Noise Levels and Roughness Severity Ratings for Vowels Produced by Male Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Karen South Arnold
    University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City
  • Floyd W. Emanuel
    University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 1979
Spectral Noise Levels and Roughness Severity Ratings for Vowels Produced by Male Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1979, Vol. 22, 613-626. doi:10.1044/jshr.2203.613
History: Received July 5, 1978 , Accepted December 30, 1978
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1979, Vol. 22, 613-626. doi:10.1044/jshr.2203.613
History: Received July 5, 1978; Accepted December 30, 1978

This study investigated the relationship between spectral noise level (SNL) and perceived roughness in sustained vowels phonated by children. Twenty male children, ten presenting normal vocal quality and ten presenting vocal roughness associated with benign vocal cord lesions, served as subjects. The children individually sustained each of the vowels /i/, /u/, /∧/, /a/, and /æ/ at one intensity and at two pitch levels (comfortable and high). Each vowel recording was analyzed to produce a 3-Hz bandwidth, amplitude-by-frequency acoustic spectrum. The levels of inharmonic (noise) components were measured for the range 100 to 2600 Hz within each vowel spectrum and the mean of those measures provided an index of vowel spectral noise level. Each recorded sample was also rated for degree of roughness, by 11 trained judges, using a five-point, equal-appearing intervals scale. The fundamental vocal frequency (fo) of each production also was measured. The results indicated that four subjects with vocal pathology phonated their vowel productions with a relatively extreme fo when compared to subjects with normal voice quality. It was also found that vowel roughness and SNL differed predictably for individual vowels and that, especially for normal-speaking subjects, roughness and SNL decreased with an increase in fo. Further, for both subject groups, SNL measures were correlated positively and moderately highly with perceived roughness.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access