Advertisement

Intra-Oral Pressure–Based Voicing Control of Electrolaryngeal Speech with Intra-Oral Vibrator

  • Hirokazu Takahashi
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Hirokazu Takahashi, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8904, Japan.
    Affiliations
    Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8904, Japan

    Department of Mechano-informatics, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan

    Department of Engineering Synthesis, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
    Search for articles by this author
  • Masayuki Nakao
    Affiliations
    Department of Engineering Synthesis, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
    Search for articles by this author
  • Yataro Kikuchi
    Affiliations
    Kikuchi Dental Clinic, 3-14-17 Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan
    Search for articles by this author
  • Kimitaka Kaga
    Affiliations
    Department of Otolaryngology, and Head and Neck Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan
    Search for articles by this author

      Summary

      In normal speech, coordinated activities of intrinsic laryngeal muscles suspend a glottal sound at utterance of voiceless consonants, automatically realizing a voicing control. In electrolaryngeal speech, however, the lack of voicing control is one of the causes of unclear voice, voiceless consonants tending to be misheard as the corresponding voiced consonants. In the present work, we developed an intra-oral vibrator with an intra-oral pressure sensor that detected utterance of voiceless phonemes during the intra-oral electrolaryngeal speech, and demonstrated that an intra-oral pressure–based voicing control could improve the intelligibility of the speech. The test voices were obtained from one electrolaryngeal speaker and one normal speaker. We first investigated on the speech analysis software how a voice onset time (VOT) and first formant (F1) transition of the test consonant-vowel syllables contributed to voiceless/voiced contrasts, and developed an adequate voicing control strategy. We then compared the intelligibility of consonant-vowel syllables among the intra-oral electrolaryngeal speech with and without online voicing control. The increase of intra-oral pressure, typically with a peak ranging from 10 to 50 gf/cm2, could reliably identify utterance of voiceless consonants. The speech analysis and intelligibility test then demonstrated that a short VOT caused the misidentification of the voiced consonants due to a clear F1 transition. Finally, taking these results together, the online voicing control, which suspended the prosthetic tone while the intra-oral pressure exceeded 2.5 gf/cm2 and during the 35 milliseconds that followed, proved efficient to improve the voiceless/voiced contrast.

      Key Words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Journal of Voice
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Iversent-Thoburn S.K.
        • Hayden P.A.
        Alaryngeal speech utilization: a survey.
        J Med Speech Lang Pathol. 2000; 8: 85-99
        • Hillman R.E.
        • Walsh M.J.
        • Fisher S.G.
        • Wolf G.T.
        • Hong W.K.
        Functional outcomes following treatment for advanced laryngeal cancer—Part I. Voice preservation in advanced laryngeal cancer—Part II. Laryngectomy rehabilitation: the state of the art in the VA system.
        Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1988; 172: 2-27
        • Koike M.
        • Kobayashi N.
        • Hirose H.
        • Hara Y.
        Speech rehabilitation after total laryngectomy.
        Acta Otolaryngol. 2002; 547: 107-112
        • Schaefer S.D.
        • Johns D.F.
        Attaining functional esophageal speech.
        Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1982; 108: 647-649
        • Most T.
        • Tobin Y.
        • Mimran R.R.
        Acoustic and perceptual characteristics of esophageal and tracheoesophageal speech production.
        J Commun Disord. 2000; 33: 165-181
        • Singer M.I.
        Tracheoesophageal speech—vocal rehabilitation after total laryngectomy.
        Laryngoscope. 1983; 93: 1454-1465
        • Hilgers F.J.M.
        • Balm A.J.M.
        Long-term results of vocal rehabilitation after total laryngectomy with the low-resistance, indwelling Provox™ voice prosthesis system.
        Clin Otolaryngol. 1993; 18: 517-523
        • Izdebski K.
        • Reed C.G.
        • Ross J.C.
        • Hilsinger R.L.
        Problems with tracheoesophageal fistula voice restoration in totally laryngectomized patients—a review of 95 cases.
        Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1994; 120: 840-845
        • Barney H.L.
        • Haworth F.E.
        • Dunn H.K.
        An experimental transistorized artificial larynx.
        Bell Syst Tech J. 1959; 38: 1337-1356
        • Golstein E.A.
        • Heaton J.T.
        • Kobler J.B.
        • Stanley G.B.
        • Hillman R.E.
        Design and implementation of a hands-free electrolarynx device controlled by neck strap muscle electromyographic activity.
        IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2004; 51: 325-332
        • Goode R.L.
        Artificial laryngeal devices in post-laryngectomy rehabilitation.
        Laryngoscope. 1975; 85: 677-689
        • Tait R.V.
        The oral vibrator.
        Br Dent J. 1959; 107: 392-399
        • Zwitman D.H.
        • Knorr S.G.
        The design of a wireless-controlled intra-oral electrolarynx.
        J Bioeng. 1977; 1: 165-171
        • Zwitman D.H.
        • Knorr S.G.
        • Sonderman J.C.
        Development and testing of an intraoral electrolarynx for laryngectomy patients.
        J Speech Hear Disord. 1978; 43: 263-269
        • Chenausky K.M.A.
        • MacAuslan J.
        Utilization of microprocessors in voice quality improvement: the electrolarynx.
        Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000; 8: 138-142
        • Takahashi H.
        • Nakao M.
        • Okusa T.
        • Hatamura Y.
        • Kikuchi Y.
        • Kaga K.
        Voice generation system using an intra-mouth vibrator.
        J Artif Organs. 2001; 4: 288-294
        • Takahashi H.
        • Nakao M.
        • Kikuchi Y.
        • Kaga K.
        Alaryngeal speech aid using an intra-oral electrolarynx and a miniature fingertip switch.
        Auris Nasus Larynx. 2005; 32: 157-162
        • Doyle P.
        • Danhauer J.
        • Reed C.
        Listener's perceptions of consonants produced by esophageal and tracheoesophageal talkers.
        J Speech Hear Disord. 1988; 53: 400-407
        • Searl J.
        • Carpenter M.A.
        • Banta C.
        Intelligibility of stops and fricatives in tracheoesophageal speech.
        J Commun Disord. 2001; 34: 1-17
        • Hewlett N.
        • Cohen W.
        • MacIntyre C.
        Perception and production of voiceless plosives in electronic larynx speech.
        Clin Linguist Phon. 1997; 11: 1-22
        • Christensen J.M.
        • Weinberg B.
        • Alfonso P.J.
        Productive voice onset time characteristics of esophageal speech.
        J Speech Hear Res. 1978; 21: 56-62
        • Connor N.P.
        • Hamlet S.L.
        • Joyce J.C.
        Acoustic and physiologic correlates of the voicing distinction in esophageal speech.
        J Speech Hear Disord. 1985; 50: 378-384
        • Searl J.P.
        • Carpenter M.A.
        Acoustic cues to the voicing feature in tracheoesophageal speech.
        J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2002; 45: 282-294
        • Gandour J.
        • Weinberg B.
        • Petty S.
        • Dardarananda R.
        Voice onset time in Thai alaryngeal speech.
        J Speech Hear Disord. 1987; 52: 288-294
        • Robbins J.
        • Christensen J.M.
        • Kempster G.
        Characteristics of speech production after tracheoesophageal puncture: voice onset time and vowel duration.
        J Speech Hear Res. 1986; 20: 499-504
        • Isshiki N.
        • Tanabe M.
        Acoustic and aerodynamic study of a superior electrolarynx speaker.
        Folia Phoniatr. 1972; 24: 65-76
        • Hirose H.
        • Gay T.
        The activity of the intrinsic laryngeal muscles in voicing control—an electromyographic study.
        Phonetica. 1972; 25: 140-164
        • Lisker L.
        • Abramson A.S.
        A crosslanguage study of voicing in initial stops: acoustical measurements.
        Word. 1964; 20: 334-422
        • Klatt D.H.
        Voice onset time, frication, and aspiration in word-initial consonant clusters.
        J Speech Hear Res. 1975; 18: 686-706
        • Zlatin M.A.
        Voicing contrast: perceptual and productive voice onset time characteristics of adults.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 1974; 56: 981-994
        • Lisker L.
        Is it VOT or a first formant transition detector?.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 1975; 57: 1547-1551
        • Kenneth N.S.
        • Klatt D.H.
        Role of formant transitions in the voiced-voiceless distinction for stops.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 1974; 55: 653-659
        • Kitajima K.
        • Tanaka K.
        Intraoral pressure in the evaluation of laryngeal function.
        Acta Otolaryngol. 1993; 113: 553-559