Title

A perceptual and acoustic study of alaryngeal speech in adult Cantonese-speaking males

Date of Completion

January 1996

Keywords

Speech Communication|Education, Educational Psychology|Health Sciences, Public Health

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

This study investigated the perceptual accuracy, and the acoustic and temporal characteristics (average fundamental frequency, speech intensity, and vowel duration) of laryngeal, esophageal, and electrolaryngeal speakers of Cantonese. The study also related the perceptual accuracy to these acoustical and temporal measurements. Data were collected from ten laryngeal, ten esophageal, and ten Servox-type electrolaryngeal speakers of Cantonese. The data consisted of: (1) The average fundamental frequency values measured from the third sentence of a reading passage selected from a Cantonese third grade reading book. (2) Listeners' identification of the six Cantonese tones for each of the syllables /ji/ and /si/ produced by the three groups of speakers. Scores of tonal identification were obtained from ten naive listeners. (3) Fundamental frequency contours of the six tones for each of the syllables /ji/ and /si/ produced by the three groups of speakers. (4) Speech intensity level for the six tones of each of the syllables /ji/ and /si/ produced by the three groups of speakers. (5) Average vowel duration values for the six tones of each of the syllables /ji/ and /si/ produced by the three groups of speakers.^ The speech samples included: (1) reading of a 136-word passage; and (2) the syllables /ji/ and /si/ at each of the six tone levels embedded in a carrier phrase.^ The results of the analyses were as follows: (1) The average reading fundamental frequency values obtained for the esophageal speakers of Cantonese was higher than the laryngeal and electrolaryngeal speakers of Cantonese, and than those reported for esophageal and laryngeal speakers of English. (2) Listeners' identification of the six tones of each of the syllables /ji/ and /si/ produced by the esophageal speakers was similar in pattern but lower than those produced by the laryngeal speakers. The electrolaryngeal speakers exhibited the lowest identification of the six tones. (3) Speech intensity of each of the syllables /ji/ and /si/ associated with esophageal and electrolaryngeal speech was significantly lower than laryngeal speech. (4) Average vowel duration values for each of the syllables /ji/ and /si/ produced by esophageal and electrolaryngeal speakers were significantly longer than laryngeal speakers. ^