Acoustic structure of stops produced by tracheoesophageal speakers
Keywords:Acoustic properties, Prosthetics, Speech analysis, Surgery, Acoustic speech measures, Acoustic structure, Tracheoesophageal voice prostheses
AbstractUse of the tracheoesophageal (TE) voice prosthesis for postlaryngectomy voice restoration has become standard practice across North America. TE voice production involves use of pharyngoesophageal muscular tissue as a vibratory source following removal of the larynx. The prosthesis permits pulmonary air to act as an aerodynamic driving source to this vicarious voicing mechanism. Tracheoesophageal (TE) speech has provided an added rehabilitation option to individuals who undergo laryngectomy. TE speech is supplied by pulmonary air, thus, distinguishing it aerodynamically from esophageal speech. Use of pulmonary air has been shown to favorably affect acoustic aspects of TE voice. Yet concerns about the relative impact of a pulmonary air source on temporal features of TE speech have been raised. It has been suggested that increased access to pulmonary air may allow the PE segment to initiate and terminate vibration more rapidly, and hence, may potentially result in unique perceptual confusions. Perceptually, data have shown that TE speakers exhibit some unusual voicing patterns for cognate phonemes with a tendency toward voiceless-for-voiced cognate errors. Further, simple patterns of voice onset time do not appear to correlate well with the perceived phoneme in symmetrical CVC constructions. Thus, the purpose of this investigation was to identify and describe the temporal acoustic structure of stop production within an intervocalic stimulus context. These acoustic measures were obtained from a small group of excellent TE speakers.
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