Evaluating the vowel space effects of larynx height using laryngeal ultrasound
Keywords:Linguistics, Tubes (components), Ultrasonics, Absolute difference, Formant frequency, Optical flow algorithm, Tube model, Vocal tract lengths, Vocal-tracts, Vowel space
AbstractA study that applies laryngeal ultrasound to the task of evaluating the effect of larynx height on vowel formant frequencies is presented. Larynx height is generally assumed to correlate positively with the resonant frequencies of the vocal tract. In the simple uniform tube model of the vocal tract, lengthening or shortening the tube to represent change to larynx height yields this effect, since resonant frequencies are inversely proportional to vocal tract length. Change in larynx height was observed using laryngeal ultrasound and quantified by means of an optical flow algorithm, a block-wise, absolute differences method. In phonetic terms, larynx raising entails epilaryngeal stricture. The uniform tube model does not account for the role of larynx height in epilaryngeal constriction. Part of the mechanism involves retraction of the tongue in conjunction with larynx raising, and this might account for the more elevated than normal laryngeal height and undershoot of larynx raising during open vowels.
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