Aerodynamic and Temporal Aspects of Velopharyngeal Function in Normal Speakers Aerodynamic and temporal characteristics of velopharyngeal function were determined for 42 adult male and female speakers. All subjects produced the word "hamper" at self-determined loudness levels and rates of speaking. Measurements of intraoral air pressure, nasal airflow, and estimates of velopharyngeal orifice size were obtained during production of the /m/ ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1996
Aerodynamic and Temporal Aspects of Velopharyngeal Function in Normal Speakers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David J. Zajac
    Department of Dental Ecology University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Robert Mayo
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Contact author: David J. Zajac, PhD, Craniofacial Center, CB# 7450, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599. Email: dzajac.dentcem hs.unc.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1996
Aerodynamic and Temporal Aspects of Velopharyngeal Function in Normal Speakers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1996, Vol. 39, 1199-1207. doi:10.1044/jshr.3906.1199
History: Received January 30, 1996 , Accepted July 29, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1996, Vol. 39, 1199-1207. doi:10.1044/jshr.3906.1199
History: Received January 30, 1996; Accepted July 29, 1996

Aerodynamic and temporal characteristics of velopharyngeal function were determined for 42 adult male and female speakers. All subjects produced the word "hamper" at self-determined loudness levels and rates of speaking. Measurements of intraoral air pressure, nasal airflow, and estimates of velopharyngeal orifice size were obtained during production of the /m/ and /p/ segments. Volume measurements of nasal airflow were determined for the entire word, the /m/ segment, and the segments preceding /m/. Fifteen timing measures associated with the pressure-flow events of the nasal-plosive sequence were also determined. Results indicated that males generated significantly higher levels of peak intraoral air pressure than females during /p/. Male speakers also exhibited a significantly shorter interval in the rise of oral pressure associated with the /p/ segment. Male and female speakers, however, exhibited similar levels of anticipatory coarticulation as reflected by nasal air volume measurements. Finally, variability of selected measurements within speakers suggested that temporal aspects of velopharyngeal function were more constrained than aerodynamic aspects. The results are discussed relative to (a) sex differences in respiratory and velar function and (b) normative data for adult speakers.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by NIH grant DE10175 from the National Institutes of Dental Research. We would like to thank Wendy Kubancsek and Amy Sauder for their assistance with data collection and Robert Skwarecki and Christopher Whipple for their assistance with data analysis. We also thank Elaine Stathopoulos, Fredericka Bell-Berti, Earl Seaver, and an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments and suggestions on the manuscript. Some portions of this research were presented as preliminary findings at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, November 1994, New Orleans, LA.
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