Aerodynamic and electroglottographic measures of normal voice production: intrasubject variability within and across sessions

M B Higgins, R Netsell, L Schulte
Journal of Speech and Hearing Research 1994, 37 (1): 38-45
The purpose of this investigation was to quantify the normal intrasubject performance variability of four measures of phonatory function within and across sessions. Two different speaking tasks, syllable series and sentence production, were used to determine if more natural speaking tasks resulted in greater intrasubject variability. Vowel type ([i] versus [a]) also was varied. Estimated subglottal air pressure, mean phonatory air flow, abduction quotient, and fundamental frequency were derived from aerodynamic and electroglottographic signals obtained from 11 normally speaking men and 10 normally speaking women on four different days. Relative intrasubject variability was compared across speaking task, gender, and vowel type. Average across-session intrasubject variability was 5% for fundamental frequency and abduction quotient, 8% for estimated subglottal air pressure, and 15% for mean phonatory air flow during syllable repetition. There was significantly greater intrasubject variability for mean phonatory air flow and abduction quotient for the sentence repetition task. There were no significant differences in intrasubject variability across gender and vowel type. The data were used to compute cutoff values that represent the amount of variability that would be considered within normal limits. These normal data can be used for comparison when assessing and monitoring the phonatory abilities of individuals with voice disorders.

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