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Empirical Evaluation of the Role of Vocal Fold Collision on Relative Fundamental Frequency in Voicing Offset

  • Matti D. Groll
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Matti D. Groll, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, 677 Beacon Street, Boston, MA, 02215.
    Affiliations
    Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Sean D. Peterson
    Affiliations
    Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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  • Matías Zañartu
    Affiliations
    Department of Electronic Engineering, Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, Valparaíso, Chile
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  • Jennifer M. Vojtech
    Affiliations
    Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Cara E. Stepp
    Affiliations
    Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
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Published:November 03, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2022.09.016

      Summary

      Objectives

      Relative fundamental frequency (RFF) is an acoustic measure of changes in fundamental frequency during voicing transitions. The physiological mechanisms underlying RFF remain unclear. Recent modeling suggests that changes in RFF during voicing offset are due to decreases in overall system stiffness as a direct result of the cessation of vocal fold collision. To evaluate this finding empirically, here we examined whether variable timing between the end of vocal fold collision and the final voicing cycle used to calculate RFF explained the variability in RFF across individual voicing offset utterances.

      Methods

      RFF during voicing offset was calculated from /ifi/ utterances produced by 35 participants under endoscopy, with and without vocal effort. RFF was calculated via two methods, in which utterances were aligned by (1) the end of vocal fold collision, or (2) the end of voicing. Analyses of variance were used to determine the effects of vocal effort and RFF method on the mean and standard deviation of RFF.

      Results

      Aligning by vocal fold collision resulted in statistically significantly lower standard deviations. RFF means were statistically higher using the collision method; however, the degree of vocal effort was statistically significant regardless of the method.

      Conclusions

      These results provide empirical evidence to support that decreases in RFF during voicing offset are a result of decreases in system stiffness due to termination of vocal fold collision.

      Key Words

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