Volume 128, Issue 5, November 2010
Index of content:
- SPEECH PRODUCTION 
128(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3466850View Description Hide Description
This paper examines vowel production in Swedish adolescents with cochlear implants. Twelve adolescents with cochlear implants and 11 adolescents with normal hearing participated. Measurements were made of the first and second formants in all the nine long Swedish vowels. The values in hertz were bark-transformed, and two measures of the size of the vowel space were obtained. The first of them was the average Euclidean distance in the F1–F2 plane between the nine vowels and the mean F1 and F2 values of all the vowels. The second was the mean Euclidean distance in the F1–F2 plane between all the vowels. The results showed a significant difference for both vowel space measures between the two groups of adolescents. The cochlear implant users had a smaller space than the adolescents with normal hearing. In general, the size of the vowel space showed no correlations with measures of receptive and productive linguistic abilities. However, the results of an identification test showed that the listeners made more confusions of the vowels produced by speakers who had a small mean distance in the F1–F2 plane between all the vowels.
128(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3493423View Description Hide Description
A method for analyzing and displaying electroglottographic (EGG) signals (and their first derivative, DEGG) is introduced: the electroglottographic wavegram (“wavegram” hereafter). To construct a wavegram, the time-varying fundamental frequency is measured and consecutive individual glottal cycles are identified. Each cycle is locally normalized in duration and amplitude, the signal values are encoded by color intensity and the cycles are concatenated to display the entire voice sample in a single image, similar as in sound spectrography. The wavegram provides an intuitive means for quickly assessing vocal fold contact phenomena and their variation over time. Variations in vocal fold contact appear here as a sequence of events rather than single phenomena, taking place over a certain period of time, and changing with pitch,loudness and register. Multiple DEGG peaks are revealed in wavegrams to behave systematically, indicating subtle changes of vocal fold oscillatory regime. As such, EGG wavegrams promise to reveal more information on vocal fold contacting and de-contacting events than previous methods.
128(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3493430View Description Hide Description
The relation between auditory acuity, somatosensory acuity and the magnitude of produced sibilant contrast was investigated with data from 18 participants. To measure auditory acuity, stimuli from a synthetic sibilant continuum were used in a four-interval, two-alternative forced choice adaptive-staircase discrimination task. To measure somatosensory acuity, small plastic domes with grooves of different spacing were pressed against each participant’s tongue tip and the participant was asked to identify one of four possible orientations of the grooves. Sibilant contrast magnitudes were estimated from productions of the words ‘said,’ ‘shed,’ ‘sid,’ and ‘shid’. Multiple linear regression revealed a significant relation indicating that a combination of somatosensory and auditory acuitymeasures predicts produced acoustic contrast. When the participants were divided into high- and low-acuity groups based on their median somatosensory and auditory acuitymeasures, separate ANOVA analyses with sibilant contrast as the dependent variable yielded a significant main effect for each acuity group. These results provide evidence that sibilant productions have auditory as well as somatosensory goals and are consistent with prior results and the theoretical framework underlying the DIVA model of speech production.