Research Article| Volume 27, ISSUE 5, P567-571, September 2013

Formant Frequency in Relation to Body Mass Composition



      This study examines the relationship between total body mass composition and vowel formant frequency and formant dispersion in men.


      A total of 60 healthy male volunteers were recruited. Formant frequencies and dispersions of F1, F2, F3, and F4 for the vowels /ɑː/ and /iː/ were determined using spectrographic analysis.


      The mean height and weight were 179.17 cm and 80.53 kg, respectively, with fat-free weight averaging to 67.02 kg (65.5% in the extremities vs 16.7% in the trunk). The body mass index (BMI) was 25.5±3.34 kg/m2. For the vowel /ɑː/, F1 and F4 correlated poorly with weight and trunk fat-free mass. There was also a poor negative correlation between F4 and muscle mass and body fat-free mass (r<0.36). For the /iː/ vowel, there was a weak negative correlation between F2, F3, and F4 and height (r=−0.260, −0.299, and −0.320, respectively). Similarly, there was a negative correlation between F2 and muscle mass, trunk fat-free mass, and body fat-free mass (r=−0.291, −0.276, and −0.272, respectively). For the vowel /ɑː/, F1-F2 interspace correlated positively with fat weight, fat mass in the extremities, and trunk (r=0.313, 0.350, and 0.264, respectively), whereas F2-F3 negatively correlated with weight (r=−0.255). For the /iː/ vowel, only F1-F2 negatively correlated with weight and BMI (r=−0.297 and −0.281).


      There is no significant correlation between body mass composition, formant frequencies, and dispersions. All the correlations were poor with r values less than 0.36.

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