Does the Respiratory System Function as an Active Pressure-Flow Source During Experimental Venting of Oral Air Pressure? Comments on Finnegan, Luschei, and Hoffman (1999) We would like to comment on several aspects of the study reported by Finnegan, Luschei, and Hoffman (1999) . In that study, the authors presented a technique to estimate alveolar pressure from measures of tracheal pressure and airflow obtained at the release of a voiceless stopplosive. One of the objectives ... Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor  |   December 01, 2000
Does the Respiratory System Function as an Active Pressure-Flow Source During Experimental Venting of Oral Air Pressure? Comments on Finnegan, Luschei, and Hoffman (1999)
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David J. Zajac
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Donald W. Warren
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Letters to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   December 01, 2000
Does the Respiratory System Function as an Active Pressure-Flow Source During Experimental Venting of Oral Air Pressure? Comments on Finnegan, Luschei, and Hoffman (1999)
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2000, Vol. 43, 1532-1534. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4306.1532
History: Received January 24, 2000 , Accepted May 14, 2000
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2000, Vol. 43, 1532-1534. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4306.1532
History: Received January 24, 2000; Accepted May 14, 2000
We would like to comment on several aspects of the study reported by Finnegan, Luschei, and Hoffman (1999) . In that study, the authors presented a technique to estimate alveolar pressure from measures of tracheal pressure and airflow obtained at the release of a voiceless stopplosive. One of the objectives of the study was to determine the extent that the respiratory system functioned as an “ideal pressure source” during production of vowels, the voiceless stop /p/, and inhalation. An ideal pressure source was operationally defined by the extent that tracheal pressure (Pt) reflected alveolar pressure (Pa) during each of the above tasks. As the authors indicated, the correspondence between Pt and Pa is determined by the relative resistances of the lower (Rlaw) and upper (Ruaw) airways. In order to estimate Rlaw and Pa, Finnegan et al. used a technique that takes advantage of the aerodynamic conditions in the vocal tract at the release of the /p/ segment (see Figure 2, p. 1140). Using this technique and 6 normal adult speakers (4 women, 2 men), the authors reported that the respiratory system appears to function as an ideal pressure source only during phonation of vowels when resistance of the larynx is relatively high. Specifically, the authors reported that Pt accounted for 95% of Pa during production of vowels, 75% of Pa during release of /p/, and 55% of Pa during inhalation. In addition, Finnegan et al. presented a graph of Pt as a function of Ruaw for each of the experimental conditions (see Figure 7, p. 1144). Based upon these data, Finnegan et al. stated, “The respiratory system functioned as a combination pressure-flow source when Ruaw was low” (p. 1144).
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