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The third formant (F3) of /a/ recorded from 209 healthy children (104 male and 105 female; ages 3 to 12 years) and 40 adults (20 men and 20 women) was studied by spectral analysis. Contrary to the traditional concept, the results of this study showed that there is significant difference in voice F3 of /a/ between male and female children. This difference was found to begin to develop at the age of 3 years and became substantial by the age of 6 years. In this study, the value of F3 obtained from female children at the age of 6 years was unexpectedly higher than that from the male children at the same age, which indicates that there is a difference in timbre in small children of both sexes.
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*This work was presented at the Beijing International Symposium on Otolaryngology, Beijing, October 25–30, 1988.
© 1989 Raven Press, Ltd., New York. Published by Elsevier Inc.