Perceptual consequences of changes in epilaryngeal area and shape

Robin A. Samlan, Jody Kreiman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The influence of epilaryngeal area on glottal flow and the acoustic signal has been described [Titze, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 123, 2733-2749 (2008)], but it is not known how (or whether) changes in epilaryngeal area influence perceived voice quality. This study examined these relationships in a kinematic vocal tract model. Epilaryngeal constrictions and expansions were simulated at the levels of the aryepiglottic folds and the ventricular folds in the context of four glottal configurations representing normal vibration to severe vocal fold paralysis, for the three corner vowels /a/, /i/, and /u/. Minimum and maximum glottal flow, maximum flow declination rate, spectral slope, cepstral peak prominence, and the harmonics-to-noise ratio were measured, and listeners completed a perceptual sort-and-rate task for all samples. Epilaryngeal constriction and expansion caused salient differences in voice quality. The location of constriction was also perceivable. Vowels simulated with aryepiglottic constriction demonstrated lower maximum airflow and less noise than the other epilaryngeal shapes, and listeners consistently perceived them as distinct from other stimuli. Acoustic differences decreased with increasing severity of simulated paralysis. Results of epilaryngeal constriction and expansion were similar for /a/ and /i/, and produced slightly different patterns for /u/.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2798-2806
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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