Acoustic Correlates of Breathy Vocal Quality The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of several acoustic measures in predicting breathiness ratings. Recordings were made of eight normal men and seven normal women producing normally phonated, moderately breathy, and very breathy sustained vowels. Twenty listeners rated the degree of breathiness using a direct magnitude ... Research Article
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Research Article  |   August 01, 1994
Acoustic Correlates of Breathy Vocal Quality
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • James Hillenbrand
    Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
  • Ronald A. Cleveland
    Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
  • Robert L. Erickson
    Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
  • Contact author: James Hillenbrand, Speech Pathology and Audiology, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1994
Acoustic Correlates of Breathy Vocal Quality
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1994, Vol. 37, 769-778. doi:10.1044/jshr.3704.769
History: Received September 27, 1993 , Accepted February 28, 1994
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1994, Vol. 37, 769-778. doi:10.1044/jshr.3704.769
History: Received September 27, 1993; Accepted February 28, 1994

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of several acoustic measures in predicting breathiness ratings. Recordings were made of eight normal men and seven normal women producing normally phonated, moderately breathy, and very breathy sustained vowels. Twenty listeners rated the degree of breathiness using a direct magnitude estimation procedure. Acoustic measures were made of: (a) signal periodicity, (b) first harmonic amplitude, and (c) spectral tilt. Periodicity measures provided the most accurate predictions of perceived breathiness, accounting for approximately 80% of the variance in breathiness ratings. The relative amplitude of the first harmonic correlated moderately with breathiness ratings, and two measures of spectral tilt correlated weakly with perceived breathiness.

Acknowledgments
We are grateful to William Dawson for his technical help with the instrumentation used to record the voice samples. This work was supported by a research grant from the National Institutes of Health (1-R01-DC01661).
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