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Inspiratory Phonation in Baby Voice

  • Kathleen Wermke
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Kathleen Wermke, Center for Pre-Speech Development and Developmental Disorders, University Clinics, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Würzburg 97070, Germany.
    Affiliations
    Center for Pre-Speech Development and Developmental Disorders, Department of Orthodontics, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
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  • Asin Ahmad Haschemi
    Affiliations
    Center for Pre-Speech Development and Developmental Disorders, Department of Orthodontics, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
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  • Volker Hesse
    Affiliations
    German Center for Growth, Development and Health Encouragement during Childhood and Youth, Children's Hospital Lindenhof, Berlin-Lichtenberg, Germany

    Institute for Experimental Paediatric Endocrinology, Charité—University Medicine, Berlin, Germany
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  • Michael P. Robb
    Affiliations
    School of Health Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
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      Summary

      Objective

      This study aimed to evaluate the developmental occurrence of inspiratory phonations (IPs) in the spontaneous cries of healthy infants across the first 10 weeks of life.

      Study Design

      This is a populational retrospective study.

      Participants

      The spontaneous crying of 17 healthy infants (10 were male) was retrospectively investigated.

      Materials and Methods

      Sound files of spontaneously uttered cries that were repeatedly recorded once per week for across the first 10 weeks of life were retrospectively analyzed. Frequency spectra and waveforms were used to identify the occurrence of IPs and to measure the duration and fundamental frequency (fo) of each instance of IP.

      Results

      A consistent number of IPs were identified across the 10-week period. All infants were observed to produce IPs in their spontaneous cries, although the frequency of occurrence was not consistent across infants. A marked sex difference was observed with female infants producing a higher number of IPs compared to males. The duration and fo of IPs did not differ significantly across the 10 weeks or between sexes.

      Conclusions

      The production of IPs is a regularly occurring phenomenon in healthy, normally developing infants' spontaneous crying. The proportional difference in the production of IPs between female and male infants, observed for the first time here, is postulated to be linked to sex-based differences (including steroidal hormones) in respiratory anatomy and physiology.

      Key Words

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