Index of content:
Volume 119, Issue 2, February 2006
- SPEECH PRODUCTION 
119(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2151823View Description Hide Description
A 3D cine-MRI technique was developed based on a synchronized sampling method [Masaki et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Jpn. E20, 375–379 (1999)] to measure the temporal changes in the vocal tract area function during a short utterance /aiueo/ in Japanese. A time series of head-neck volumes was obtained after 640 repetitions of the utterance produced by a male speaker, from which area functions were extracted frame-by-frame. A region-based analysis showed that the volumes of the front and back cavities tend to change reciprocally and that the areas near the larynx and posterior edge of the hard palate were almost constant throughout the utterance. The lower four formants were calculated from all the area functions and compared with those of natural speech sounds. The mean absolute percent error between calculated and measured formants among all the frames was 4.5%. The comparison of vocal tract shapes for the five vowels with those from the static MRI method suggested a problem of MRI observation of the vocal tract: data from static MRI tend to result in a deviation from natural vocal tract geometry because of the gravity effect.
119(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2159433View Description Hide Description
The elastic as well as time-dependent mechanical response of the vocal fold cover (epithelium and superficial layer of the lamina propria) under tension is one key variable in regulating the fundamental frequency. This study examines the hyperelastic and time-dependent tensile deformation behavior of a group of human vocal fold cover specimens (six male and five female). The primary goal is to formulate a constitutive model that could describe empirical trends in speaking fundamental frequency with reasonable confidence. The constitutive model for the tissue mechanical behavior consists of a hyperelastic equilibrium network in parallel with an inelastic, time-dependent network and is combined with the ideal string model for phonation. Results showed that hyperelastic and time-dependent parameters of the constitutive model can be related to observed age-related and gender-related differences in speaking fundamental frequency. The implications of these findings on fundamental frequency regulation are described. Limitations of the current constitutive model are discussed.
119(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2151809View Description Hide Description
Air pressure associated with airflow from the lungs drives the vocal folds into oscillation and allows the air to exit the glottis as a turbulent jet, even though laminar flow may enter the glottis from the trachea. The separation of the turbulence from the deterministic portion of the glottal jet was investigated in the excised canine larynxmodel. The present study is methodological in that the main goal was to examine three methods of obtaining reasonable representations of both the deterministic signal and the residual turbulence portion: (a) smoothing, (b) wavelet denoising, and (c) ensemble averaging. Ensemble averaging resulted in a deterministic signal that disregarded gross cyclic alterations while exaggerating the turbulence intensity. Wavelet denoising can perform an excellent analysis and synthesis of the glottalvelocity, but was problematic in determining which levels of analysis to choose to represent both the deterministic and turbulence appropriately. Smoothing appeared to be the most appropriate for phonationvelocities because it preserved gross cyclic variations important to perturbations and modulations, while extracting turbulence at what appears to be reasonable levels.
119(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2149774View Description Hide Description
The present study aimed to examine the size of the acoustic vowel space in talkers who had previously been identified as having slow and fast habitual speaking rates [Tsao, Y.-C. and Weismer, G. (1997) J. Speech Lang. Hear. Res.40, 858–866]. Within talkers, it is fairly well known that faster speaking rates result in a compression of the vowel space relative to that measured for slower rates, so the current study was completed to determine if the same differences in the size of the vowel space occur across talkers who differ significantly in their habitual speaking rates. Results indicated that there was no difference in the average size of the vowel space for slow vs fast talkers, and no relationship across talkers between vowel duration and formant frequencies. One difference between the slow and fast talkers was in intertalker variability of the vowel spaces, which was clearly greater for the slow talkers, for both speaker sexes. Results are discussed relative to theories of speech production and vowel normalization in speech perception.