The Impact of Vocal Hyperfunction on Relative Fundamental Frequency During Voicing Offset and Onset PurposeThis study tested the hypothesis that individuals with vocal hyperfunction would show decreases in relative fundamental frequency (RFF) surrounding a voiceless consonant.MethodThis retrospective study of 2 clinical databases used speech samples from 15 control participants and women with hyperfunction-related voice disorders: 82 prior to treatment (muscle tension dysphonia, n = ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2010
The Impact of Vocal Hyperfunction on Relative Fundamental Frequency During Voicing Offset and Onset
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Cara E. Stepp
    Harvard–MIT Division of Health Science and Technology, Cambridge, MA, and Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation, Boston, MA
  • Robert E. Hillman
    Harvard–MIT Division of Health Science and Technology; Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation; and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • James T. Heaton
    Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation and Harvard Medical School
  • Contact author: Cara E. Stepp, who is now at the Departments of Computer Science and Engineering and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Box 352350, Seattle, WA 98195. E-mail: cstepp@alum.mit.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article   |   October 01, 2010
The Impact of Vocal Hyperfunction on Relative Fundamental Frequency During Voicing Offset and Onset
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2010, Vol. 53, 1220-1226. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0234)
History: Received October 23, 2009 , Accepted February 18, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2010, Vol. 53, 1220-1226. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0234)
History: Received October 23, 2009; Accepted February 18, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 20

PurposeThis study tested the hypothesis that individuals with vocal hyperfunction would show decreases in relative fundamental frequency (RFF) surrounding a voiceless consonant.

MethodThis retrospective study of 2 clinical databases used speech samples from 15 control participants and women with hyperfunction-related voice disorders: 82 prior to treatment (muscle tension dysphonia, n = 22; vocal fold nodules, n = 30; vocal fold polyps, N = 30) and 18 before and after surgical removal of vocal fold nodules or polyps. Acoustic samples were analyzed with respect to the RFF at the offset and onset of voicing surrounding a voiceless consonant.

ResultsIndividuals with vocal hyperfunction in a large clinical sample showed significant lowering of offset and onset RFF compared with controls. Voicing offset and onset RFFs were not significantly changed by the removal of vocal fold lesions in the surgical group.

ConclusionsAltered offset and onset RFF in patients with hyperfunction-related voice disorders can be interpreted as a by-product of heightened levels of laryngeal muscle tension. Measurement of RFF during voice offset and onset has potential for use as a simple, noninvasive measure of vocal hyperfunction.

Acknowledgment
We thank Ashley Schuler for her assistance with acoustic analysis.
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