Phonation threshold pressure measurement with a semi-occluded vocal tract.

National Center for Voice and Speech, The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Denver, CO, USA.
Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research (Impact Factor: 1.97). 09/2009; 52(4):1062-72. DOI: 10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0110)
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this article was to determine if a semi-occluded vocal tract could be used to measure phonation threshold pressure. This is in contrast to the shutter technique, where an alternation between a fully occluded tract and an unoccluded tract is used.
Five male and 5 female volunteers phonated through a thin straw held between the lips. Oral pressure behind the lips was measured. Mathematical predictions of phonation threshold pressures were compared to the measured ones over a range of frequencies.
It was shown that, for a 2.5-mm diameter straw, phonation threshold pressures were obtainable over a 2-octave range of fundamental frequency by all volunteers. In magnitude, the pressures agreed with the 0.2-0.5 kPa values obtained in previous investigations. Sensitivity to viscoelastic and geometric properties of the vocal folds was generally not compromised with greater oral impedance, but some differences were predicted theoretically in contrast to an open mouth configuration.
Because phonation threshold pressure is always dependent on vocal tract interaction, it may be advantageous to choose an exact and fixed oral semi-occlusion for the measurement and interpret the results in light of the known acoustic load.

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