The profile of fundamental frequency changes in normal Persian-speaking individuals 9-50 years old

Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
01/2010; 19:57-64.


Background and Aim: The voice of human being changes during lifetime with different patterns in males and females. In addition to assessment of changes due to aging, some studies examined the voice changes among various languages and ethnical groups. This study is performed to evaluate the fundamental frequency changes in normal 9-50 year-old Persian (Farsi) speaking individuals. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 320 voice samples in normal voiceless environment were recorded. The mean of fundamental frequency of vowels and counting is measured by Dr Speech software (real analysis program). Data analysis was performed by MANOVA test and the profiles of their changes were plotted. Results: The profile of mean of fundamental frequency changes was different in males and females. The mean of fundamental frequency was equal in both genders until 13 years old and the samples of voice had low pitch (Mean: higher than 200 Hz). MFF after 13 years old significantly decreased in males specially in vowels (p<0.001). The changes in vowels and counting were similar. The mean of fundamental frequency in both genders, between 20-40 years old had relative constancy. Conclusion: The mean of fundamental frequency changes of vowels and counting in females and males result from diverse dimensions of larynx and other anatomical differences. Significant changes of mean of fundamental frequency in both genders after 13 years old result from puberty in males. The proportional consistence of mean of fundamental frequency between 20-40 years old is probably due to the uniformity of body in this age range.

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    ABSTRACT: This study was designed to investigate changes in fundamental frequency (F0) across the life span in Persian speakers. Four hundred children and adults were asked to produce a sustained phonation of vowel /a/ and their voice samples were studied in 10 age groups. F0 was analyzed using the software Praat (Version 5.1.17.). The results revealed that (1) the mean F0 in both sexes decreases from childhood to adulthood; (2) significant F0 differences between boys and girls begin at the age of 12 years; and (3) the range of F0 changes in the life span is greater in men (178.38Hz) than in women (113.57Hz). These findings provide new data for Persian-speaking children, women, and men and could be beneficial for Iranian speech and language pathologists.
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