Fundamental Frequency Variation With an Electrolarynx Improves Speech Understanding: A Case Study Purpose This study examined the effect of fundamental frequency (F0) variation on the intelligibility of speech in an alaryngeal talker who used an electrolarynx (EL). Method One experienced alaryngeal talker produced variable F0 and a constant F0 with his EL as he read sentences aloud. As a control, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 01, 2009
Fundamental Frequency Variation With an Electrolarynx Improves Speech Understanding: A Case Study
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Peter J. Watson
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Robert S. Schlauch
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Disclosure Statement
    Disclosure Statement×
    The authors have no proprietary, financial, professional, or any other personal interest of any nature or kind in any product or service with Griffin Labs that could be construed as influencing the position presented in this article.
    The authors have no proprietary, financial, professional, or any other personal interest of any nature or kind in any product or service with Griffin Labs that could be construed as influencing the position presented in this article.×
  • Contact author: Peter J. Watson, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, 164 Pillsbury Drive, Shevlin 115, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455. E-mail: pjwatson@umn.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 01, 2009
Fundamental Frequency Variation With an Electrolarynx Improves Speech Understanding: A Case Study
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2009, Vol. 18, 162-167. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/08-0025)
History: Received March 25, 2008 , Accepted August 24, 2008
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2009, Vol. 18, 162-167. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/08-0025)
History: Received March 25, 2008; Accepted August 24, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose This study examined the effect of fundamental frequency (F0) variation on the intelligibility of speech in an alaryngeal talker who used an electrolarynx (EL).

Method One experienced alaryngeal talker produced variable F0 and a constant F0 with his EL as he read sentences aloud. As a control, a group of sentences with variable F0 was flattened at a constant F0. Twenty listeners heard these sentences in background noise and wrote down what they heard.

Results Speech understanding was on average 14% better with variable F0 controlled by the talker than the sentences produced with a constant F0 and the control sentences resynthesized with flattened F0.

Conclusions Variable F0 contributes to speech understanding in noise. Because speech produced by an EL is considered to have poorer intelligibility in relation to other alaryngeal methods, training alaryngeal talkers to use variable F0 may prove to be of significant benefit for communication for those who use electrolarynges.

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