Volume 135, Issue 1, January 2014
Index of content:
- SPEECH PRODUCTION 
135(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4836515View Description Hide Description
This paper describes a method for constructing a three-dimensional model of the hard palate using electro-magnetic articulography, and defines two algorithms to derive constriction degree and constriction location values from the trajectories of tongue coils using this model. The kinematics of tongue motion that have been transformed into constriction degree and constriction location values are investigated in detail to determine whether this type of representation obeys the constraints theorized to operate over higher level motor control. Results show that palate-relative coordinate spaces decouple mechanical dependencies present in the tongue, while maintaining low-level kinematic properties. They additionally preserve the 1/3 power law for speed and curvature observed across many motor systems. Finally, it is shown that tongue movements in a palate relative coordinate space more closely correspond to their optimal, jerk-minimized trajectories. These results suggest that this type of coordinate space provides a closer match to higher level motor-planning, in line with production models that specify control units in terms of vocal tract constriction parameters.
135(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4837236View Description Hide Description
The accuracy of a voice vote was addressed by systematically varying group size, individual voter loudness, and words that are typically used to express agreement or disagreement. Five judges rated the loudness of two competing groups in A-B comparison tasks. Acoustic analysis was performed to determine the sound energy level of each word uttered by each group. Results showed that individual voter differences in energy level can grossly alter group loudness and bias the vote. Unless some control is imposed on the sound level of individual voters, it is difficult to establish even a two-thirds majority, much less a simple majority. There is no symmetry in the bias created by unequal sound production of individuals. Soft voices do not bias the group loudness much, but loud voices do. The phonetic balance of the two words chosen (e.g., “yea” and “nay” as opposed to “aye” and “no”) seems to be less of an issue.
135(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4837221View Description Hide Description
Two-dimensional (2D) numerical simulations of vocal tract acoustics may provide a good balance between the high quality of three-dimensional (3D) finite element approaches and the low computational cost of one-dimensional (1D) techniques. However, 2D models are usually generated by considering the 2D vocal tract as a midsagittal cut of a 3D version, i.e., using the same radius function, wall impedance, glottal flow, and radiation losses as in 3D, which leads to strong discrepancies in the resulting vocal tract transfer functions. In this work, a four step methodology is proposed to match the behavior of 2D simulations with that of 3D vocal tracts with circular cross-sections. First, the 2D vocal tract profile becomes modified to tune the formant locations. Second, the 2D wall impedance is adjusted to fit the formant bandwidths. Third, the 2D glottal flow gets scaled to recover 3D pressure levels. Fourth and last, the 2D radiation model is tuned to match the 3D model following an optimization process. The procedure is tested for vowels /a/, /i/, and /u/ and the obtained results are compared with those of a full 3D simulation, a conventional 2D approach, and a 1D chain matrix model.
135(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4837222View Description Hide Description
Previous flow velocity measurements during phonation in canine larynges were done above the glottal exit. These studies found that vortical structures are present in the flow above the glottis at different phases of the glottal cycle. Some vortices were observed to leave the glottis during the closing phase and assumptions were proposed regarding their formation mechanism. In the current study, intraglottal velocity measurements are performed using PIV, and the intraglottal flow characteristics are determined. Results from five canine larynges show that at low subglottal pressure the glottis assumes a minimal divergence angle during closing and the flow separates at the glottal exit. Vortical structures are observed above the glottis but not inside. As the subglottal pressure is increased, the divergence angle between the folds during closing increases and the location of the flow separation moves upstream into the glottis. Entrainment flow enters the glottis to fill the void that is formed between the glottal jet and the fold. Vortical structures develop near the superior edge at medium and high subglottal pressures from the flow separation. The magnitude of their swirling strength changes as a function of the wall dynamics.
135(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4838975View Description Hide Description
This study investigated the extent to which noise impacts normal-hearing young adults' speech processing of sentences that vary in intelligibility. Intelligibility and recognition memory in noise were examined for conversational and clear speech sentences recorded in quiet (quiet speech, QS) and in response to the environmental noise (noise-adapted speech, NAS). Results showed that (1) increased intelligibility through conversational-to-clear speech modifications led to improved recognition memory and (2) NAS presented a more naturalistic speech adaptation to noise compared to QS, leading to more accurate word recognition and enhanced sentence recognition memory. These results demonstrate that acoustic-phonetic modifications implemented in listener-oriented speech enhance speech-in-noise processing beyond word recognition. Effortful speech processing in challenging listening environments can thus be improved by speaking style adaptations on the part of the talker. In addition to enhanced intelligibility, a substantial improvement in recognition memory can be achieved through speaker adaptations to the environment and to the listener when in adverse conditions.