Acoustical Analysis of Spanish Vowels Produced by Laryngectomized Subjects

Cervera, Teresa; Miralles, Jose L.; Gonzalez-Alvarez, Julio
October 2001
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Oct2001, Vol. 44 Issue 5, p988
Academic Journal
The purpose of this study was to describe the acoustic characteristics of Spanish vowels in subjects who had undergone a total laryngectomy and to compare the results with those obtained in a control group of subjects who spoke normally. Our results are discussed in relation to those obtained in previous studies with English-speaking laryngectomized patients. The comparison between English and Spanish, which differ widely in the size of their vowel inventories, will help us to determine specific or universal vowel production characteristics in these patients. Our second objective was to relate the acoustic properties of these vowels to the perceptual data obtained in our previous work (J. L. Miralles & T. Cervera, 1995). In that study, results indicated that vowels produced by alaryngeal speakers were well perceived in word context. Vowels were produced in CVCV word context by two groups of patients who had undergone laryngectomy: tracheoesophageal speakers (TES) and esophageal speakers. In addition a control group of normal talkers was included. Audio recordings of 24 Spanish words produced by each speaker were analyzed using CSL (Kay Elemetrics). Results showed that F1, F2, and vowel duration of alaryngeal speakers differ significantly from normal values. In general, laryngectomized patients produce vowels with higher formant frequencies and longer durations than the group of laryngeal subjects. Thus, the data indicate modifications either in the frequency or temporal domain, following the same tendency found in previous studies with English-speaking laryngectomized speakers.


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