Relationships Between Formant Frequencies of Sustained Vowels and Tongue Contours Measured by Ultrasonography Purpose The purpose of this study was to explore the formant–articulation relationships in corner vowels by acoustic analysis of speech signals and measuring tongue contour using ultrasonography. Method Eighteen healthy adults (8 men, 10 women), aged between 20 and 40 years, were enrolled. Speech signals of sustained vowels ... Research Note
Research Note  |   November 01, 2015
Relationships Between Formant Frequencies of Sustained Vowels and Tongue Contours Measured by Ultrasonography
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Shao-Hsuan Lee
    College of Engineering, Chang-Gung University, Taoyuan City, Taiwan
  • Jen-Fang Yu
    Graduate Institute of Medical Mechatronics, College of Engineering, Chang-Gung University, Taoyuan City, Taiwan
  • Yu-Hsiang Hsieh
    Taipei City Hospital Renai Branch, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Guo-She Lee
    Taipei City Hospital Renai Branch, Taipei, Taiwan
    School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Guo-She Lee: guosheli@ms12.hinet.net
  • Shao-Hsuan Lee and Jen-Fan Yu contributed equally to this article.
    Shao-Hsuan Lee and Jen-Fan Yu contributed equally to this article.×
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Jack Ryalls
    Associate Editor: Jack Ryalls×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Notes
Research Note   |   November 01, 2015
Relationships Between Formant Frequencies of Sustained Vowels and Tongue Contours Measured by Ultrasonography
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2015, Vol. 24, 739-749. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0063
History: Received May 5, 2014 , Revised August 17, 2014 , Accepted July 21, 2015
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2015, Vol. 24, 739-749. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0063
History: Received May 5, 2014; Revised August 17, 2014; Accepted July 21, 2015

Purpose The purpose of this study was to explore the formant–articulation relationships in corner vowels by acoustic analysis of speech signals and measuring tongue contour using ultrasonography.

Method Eighteen healthy adults (8 men, 10 women), aged between 20 and 40 years, were enrolled. Speech signals of sustained vowels /ɑ/, /i/, and /u/ were recorded to obtain the first 2 formant frequencies. Tongue height, tongue advancement, and lengths of posterior tongue surface (LPTS) and anterior oral cavity (LAOC) were obtained using ultrasound image processing technique in order to examine the resonance mechanism of the oral vocal tract.

Results LPTS and LAOC, as well as mean frequencies of the first and second formants, showed significant differences between sexes and among vowels. The first formant significantly and better correlated with LPTS than with tongue height (r = –.78, p < .001, Pearson's correlation). The correlation of the second formant with LAOC (r = –.85, p < .001) was also significant and better than the correlation with tongue advancement. Sex, however, did not show significant correlation with the formant frequencies.

Conclusions Ultrasonographic measurements of tongue contour correlated well to the formant frequencies. The results stressed the importance of tongue shaping in articulation. Although more studies are necessary in clinical implications, disorders associated with abnormal tongue shaping may be the target applications in the future.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by Grant 103-2314-B-010-055-MY3 from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan.
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