High-speed registration of phonation-related glottal area variation during artificial lengthening of the vocal tract

Anne-Maria Laukkanen, Hannu Pulakka, Paavo Alku, Erkki Vilkman, Stellan Hertegård, Per-Ake Lindestad, Hans Larsson, Svante Granqvist
Logopedics, Phoniatrics, Vocology 2007, 32 (4): 157-64
Vocal exercises that increase the vocal tract impedance are widely used in voice training and therapy. The present study applies a versatile methodology to investigate phonation during varying artificial extension of the vocal tract. Two males and one female phonated into a hard-walled plastic tube (phi 2 cm), whose physical length was randomly pair-wise changed between 30 cm, 60 cm and 100 cm. High-speed image (1900 f/sec) sequences of the vocal folds were obtained via a rigid endoscope. Acoustic and electroglottographic signals (EGG) were recorded. Oral pressure during shuttering of the tube was used to give an estimate of subglottic pressure (Psub). The only trend observed was that with the two longer tubes compared to the shortest one, fundamental frequency was lower, open time of the glottis shorter, and Psub higher. The results may partly reflect increased vocal tract impedance as such and partly the increased vocal effort to compensate for it. In other parameters there were individual differences in tube length-related changes, suggesting complexity of the coupling between supraglottic space and the glottis.

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