Volume 115, Issue 5, May 2004
Index of content:
- SPEECH PRODUCTION 
115(2004); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1698832View Description Hide Description
The vocal ligament is the tension-bearing element in the vocal folds at high pitches. It has traditionally been treated as a vibrating string, with only length and longitudinal stress governing its normal mode frequencies. Results of this investigation show that, when bending stiffness and variable cross section are included, the lowest normal mode frequency can more than double, depending on the strain of the ligament. This suggests that much higher phonation frequencies may be achievable than heretofore thought for a given vocal fold length (e.g., nearly 1000 Hz at 50% elongation over cadaveric resting length). It also brings back into the discussion the concept of “damping,” an old misnomer for a reduction of the effective length of vibration of the vocal folds by relatively stiff boundary segments known as macula flavae. A formula is given for correcting the ideal string equation for the lowest mode frequency to include bending stiffness and macula flavae effects.
115(2004); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1699392View Description Hide Description
Phase space reconstruction, correlation dimension, and second-order entropy, methods from nonlinear dynamics, are used to analyze sustained vowels generated by patients before and after surgical excision of vocal polyps. Two conventional acoustic perturbation parameters, jitter and shimmer, are also employed to analyze voices before and after surgery. Presurgical and postsurgical analyses of jitter, shimmer, correlation dimension, and second-order entropy are statistically compared. Correlation dimension and second-order entropy show a statistically significant decrease after surgery, indicating reduced complexity and higher predictability of postsurgical voice dynamics. There is not a significant postsurgical difference in shimmer, although jitter shows a significant postsurgical decrease. The results suggest that jitter and shimmer should be applied to analyze disordered voices with caution; however, nonlinear dynamic methods may be useful for analyzing abnormal vocal function and quantitatively evaluating the effects of surgical excision of vocal polyps.