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Respiration and articulation during vocal effort (Abur et al., 2021)

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posted on 2021-11-29, 18:10 authored by Defne Abur, Joseph S. Perkell, Cara E. Stepp
Purpose: The goal of this study was to examine the effects of increases in vocal effort, without changing speech intensity, on respiratory and articulatory kinematics in young adults with typical voices.
Method: A total of 10 participants completed a reading task under three speaking conditions: baseline, mild vocal effort, and maximum vocal effort. Respiratory inductance plethysmography bands around the chest and abdomen were used to estimate lung volumes during speech, and sensor coils for electromagnetic articulography were used to transduce articulatory movements, resulting in the following outcome measures: lung volume at speech initiation (LVSI) and at speech termination (LVST), articulatory kinematic vowel space (AKVS) of two points on the tongue dorsum (body and blade), and lip aperture.
Results: With increases in vocal effort, and no statistical changes in speech intensity, speakers showed: (a) no statistically significant differences in LVST, (b) statistically significant increases in LVSI, (c) no statistically significant differences in AKVS measures, and (d) statistically significant reductions in lip aperture.
Conclusions: Speakers with typical voices exhibited larger lung volumes at speech initiation during increases in vocal effort, paired with reduced lip displacements. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate evidence that articulatory kinematics are impacted by modulations in vocal effort. However, the mechanisms underlying vocal effort may differ between speakers with and without voice disorders. Thus, future work should examine the relationship between articulatory kinematics, respiratory kinematics, and laryngeal-level changes during vocal effort in speakers with and without voice disorders.

Supplemental Material S1. Auditory-perceptual ratings from the Consensus auditory-perceptual evaluation of voice (CAPE-V) for overall severity of dysphonia (top left panel), strain (top right panel), roughness (lower left panel), and breathiness (lower right panel) are shown for the baseline, mild vocal effort and maximum vocal effort conditions for female (light colored shapes) and male (black shapes) speakers.

Abur, D., Perkell, J. S., & Stepp, C. E. (2021). Impact of vocal effort on respiratory and articulatory kinematics. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication.


This work was supported by Grants R01 DC015570 (awarded to Cara E. Stepp), T32 DC013017 (awarded to Cara E. Stepp and Christopher A. Moore), and F31 DC019032 (awarded to Defne Abur) from the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. It was also supported by a Graduate Fellow Award from the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science and Engineering (awarded to Defne Abur).