Comparisons Among Aerodynamic, Electroglottographic, and Acoustic Spectral Measures of Female Voice This study examines measures of the glottal airflow waveform, the electroglottographic signal (EGG), amplitude differences between peaks in the acoustic spectrum, and observations of the spectral energy content of the third formant (F3), in terms of how they relate to one another. Twenty females with normal voices served as subjects. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1995
Comparisons Among Aerodynamic, Electroglottographic, and Acoustic Spectral Measures of Female Voice
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Eva B. Holmberg
    Voice and Speech Laboratory, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston and Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
  • Robert E. Hillman
    Voice and Speech Laboratory, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston and Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School and Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
  • Joseph S. Perkell
    Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
  • Peter C. Guiod
    Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
  • Susan L. Goldman
    Voice and Speech Laboratory, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston
  • Contact author: Eva B. Holmberg, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Research Laboratory of Electronics, Building 36, Room 521, Cambridge, MA 02139. E-mail: holmberg@speech.mit.edu
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1995
Comparisons Among Aerodynamic, Electroglottographic, and Acoustic Spectral Measures of Female Voice
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1995, Vol. 38, 1212-1223. doi:10.1044/jshr.3806.1212
History: Received October 26, 1994 , Accepted April 5, 1995
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1995, Vol. 38, 1212-1223. doi:10.1044/jshr.3806.1212
History: Received October 26, 1994; Accepted April 5, 1995

This study examines measures of the glottal airflow waveform, the electroglottographic signal (EGG), amplitude differences between peaks in the acoustic spectrum, and observations of the spectral energy content of the third formant (F3), in terms of how they relate to one another. Twenty females with normal voices served as subjects. Both group and individual data were studied. Measurements were made for the vowel in two speech tasks: strings of the syllable /pæ/ and sustained phonation of /æ/, which were produced at two levels of vocal effort: comfortable and loud voice. The main results were:

1. Significant differences in parameter values between /pæ/ and /æ/ were related to significant differences in the sound pressure level (SPL).

2. An “adduction quotient,” measured from the glottal waveform at a 30% criterion, was sensitive enough to differentiate between waveforms reflecting abrupt versus gradual vocal fold closing movements.

3. DC flow showed weak or nonsignificant relationships with acoustic measures.

4. The spectral content in the third formant (F3) in comfortable loudness typically consisted of a mix of noise and harmonic energy. In loud voice, the F3 spectral content typically consisted of harmonic energy.

5. Significant differences were found in all measures between tokens with F3 harmonic energy and tokens with F3 noise, independent of loudness condition.

6. Strong relationships between flow- and EGG-adduction quotients suggested that these signals can be used to complement each other.

7. The amplitude difference between spectral peaks of the first and third formant (F1-F3) was found to add information about abruptness of airflow decrease (flow declination) that may be lost in the glottal waveform signal due to low-pass filtering.

The results are discussed in terms of how an integrated use of these measures can contribute to a better understanding of the normal vocal mechanism and help to improve methods for evaluating vocal function.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by a grant (R01-DC 00266) from the National Institutes of Health. We thank Elaine Stathopoulos and three anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on a previous version of this manuscript.
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