Relation of perceived breathiness to laryngeal kinematics and acoustic measures based on computational modeling

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49 Scopus citations


Purpose: In this study, the authors sought to determine (a) how specific vocal fold structural and vibratory features relate to breathy voice quality and (b) the relation of perceived breathiness to 4 acoustic correlates of breathiness. Method: A computational, kinematic model of the vocal fold medial surfaces was used to specify features of vocal fold structure and vibration in a manner consistent with breathy voice. Four model parameters were altered: vocal process separation, surface bulging, vibratory nodal point, and epilaryngeal constriction. Twelve naBve listeners rated breathiness of 364 samples relative to a reference. The degree of breathiness was then compared to (a) the underlying kinematic profile and (b) 4 acoustic measures: cepstral peak prominence (CPP), harmonics-to-noise ratio, and two measures of spectral slope. Results: Vocal process separation alone accounted for 61.4% of the variance in perceptual rating. Adding nodal point ratio and bulging to the equation increased the explained variance to 88.7%. The acoustic measure CPP accounted for 86.7% of the variance in perceived breathiness, and explained variance increased to 92.6% with the addition of one spectral slope measure. Conclusion: Breathiness ratings were best explained kinematically by the degree of vocal process separation and acoustically by CPP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1209-1223
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Acoustics
  • Voice
  • Voice disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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