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Whispering: A Single-Subject Study of Glottal Configuration and Aerodynamics
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Music Acoustics.
Department of Communication Disorders, Bowling Green State University.
Department of Phoniatrics and Paedaudiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, University of Hamburg.
Department of Phoniatrics and Paedaudiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, University of Hamburg.
2010 (English)In: Journal of Voice, ISSN 0892-1997, E-ISSN 1557-8658, Vol. 24, no 5, 574-584 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Whisper productions were produced by a single adult male subject over a wide range of subglottal pressures, glottal areas, and glottal flows. Dimensional measurements were made of these three variables, including glottal perimeter. Subglottal pressure was directly obtained by a pressure transducer in a tracheal catheter, and wide-band flow with a pneumotach mask. Four types of whispers were used-hyperfunctional, hypofunctional, neutral, and postphonation-in addition to three levels of loudness (soft, medium, loud). Sequences of the /pae/ syllable were used. Video recordings of the larynx were made. The glottis was outlined by hand with extrapolation for unseen parts, and area and perimeter were obtained through image analysis software. The whisper tokens resulted in the following wide ranges: subglottal pressure: 1.3-17 cm H2O; glottal flow: 0.9-1.71 L/s; glottal area: 0.065-1.76 cm(2); and glottal perimeter: 1.09-6.55 cm. Hyperfunctional whisper tended to have higher subglottal pressures and lower areas and flows than hypofunctional whisper, with neutral and postphonation whisper values in between. An important finding is that glottal flow changed more for small changes of area when the area was already small, and did not create much flow change when area was changed for already larger areas; that is, whisper is "more sensitive" to airflow changes for smaller glottal areas. A general equation for whisper aerodynamics was obtained, namely, P (subglottal pressure [cm H2O]) = C x F (glottal flow [cm(3)/s]), where C = 0.052 x A(4) - 0.1913 x A(3) + 0.2577 x A(2) - 0.1523 x A + 0.0388, where A is the glottal area (cm(2)). Another general equation for nondimensional terms (pressure coefficient vs Reynolds number) also is offered. Implications for whisper flow resistance and aerodynamic power are given. These results give insight into whisper aerodynamics and offer equations relevant to speech synthesis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 24, no 5, 574-584 p.
Keyword [en]
Whisper, Subglottal pressure, Glottal airflow, Glottal flow, Glottal area, Glottal resistance, Glottal flow resistance, Subglottal power, Pressure coefficient, Reynolds number
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26703DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2009.01.001ISI: 000281710100007ScopusID: 2-s2.0-77954059009OAI: diva2:372912
QC 20101129Available from: 2010-11-29 Created: 2010-11-26 Last updated: 2010-11-29Bibliographically approved

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