Comparing Measures of Voice Quality From Sustained Phonation and Continuous Speech Purpose The question of what type of utterance—a sustained vowel or continuous speech—is best for voice quality analysis has been extensively studied but with equivocal results. This study examines whether previously reported differences derive from the articulatory and prosodic factors occurring in continuous speech versus sustained phonation. Method ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2016
Comparing Measures of Voice Quality From Sustained Phonation and Continuous Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Bruce R. Gerratt
    University of California, Los Angeles
  • Jody Kreiman
    University of California, Los Angeles
  • Marc Garellek
    University of California, San Diego, La Jolla
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Bruce R. Gerratt: bgerratt@ucla.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Kate Bunton
    Associate Editor: Kate Bunton×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2016
Comparing Measures of Voice Quality From Sustained Phonation and Continuous Speech
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2016, Vol. 59, 994-1001. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-15-0307
History: Received September 2, 2015 , Revised December 10, 2015 , Accepted March 24, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2016, Vol. 59, 994-1001. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-15-0307
History: Received September 2, 2015; Revised December 10, 2015; Accepted March 24, 2016

Purpose The question of what type of utterance—a sustained vowel or continuous speech—is best for voice quality analysis has been extensively studied but with equivocal results. This study examines whether previously reported differences derive from the articulatory and prosodic factors occurring in continuous speech versus sustained phonation.

Method Speakers with voice disorders sustained vowels and read sentences. Vowel samples were excerpted from the steadiest portion of each vowel in the sentences. In addition to sustained and excerpted vowels, a 3rd set of stimuli was created by shortening sustained vowel productions to match the duration of vowels excerpted from continuous speech. Acoustic measures were made on the stimuli, and listeners judged the severity of vocal quality deviation.

Results Sustained vowels and those extracted from continuous speech contain essentially the same acoustic and perceptual information about vocal quality deviation.

Conclusions Perceived and/or measured differences between continuous speech and sustained vowels derive largely from voice source variability across segmental and prosodic contexts and not from variations in vocal fold vibration in the quasisteady portion of the vowels. Approaches to voice quality assessment by using continuous speech samples average across utterances and may not adequately quantify the variability they are intended to assess.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by Grant DC01797 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, awarded to UCLA. We thank Marisa Tice for extensive help with acoustic analysis and synthesis and Norma Antoñanzas-Barroso for ongoing programming support. Software used in this study is available without charge by request to the first or second author.
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