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Selected acoustic characteristics of emerging esophageal speech: Case study

South African Journal of Communication Disorders. 1978;25(1) DOI 10.4102/sajcd.v25i1.370


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Journal Title: South African Journal of Communication Disorders

ISSN: 0379-8046 (Print); 2225-4765 (Online)

Publisher: AOSIS

Society/Institution: South African Speech-Language-Hearing Association

LCC Subject Category: Language and Literature: Philology. Linguistics: Communication. Mass media: Oral communication. Speech

Country of publisher: South Africa

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, ePUB, XML



Glenn Binder (Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 30 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The development of esophageal speech was examined in a laryngectomee subject to observe the emergence of selected acoustic characteristics, and their relation to listener intelligibility ratings. Over a two-and-a-half  month period, the data from  five recording sessions was used for spectrographic and perceptual (listener) analysis. There was evidence to suggest a fairly reliable correlation between emerging acoustic characteristics and increasing perceptual ratings. Acoustic factors coincident with increased intelligibility ratings appeared related to two dimensions: firstly, the increasing pseudoglottic control over esophageal air release; secondly the presence of  a mechanism of  pharyngeal compression. Increased pseudoglottic control manifested  in a reduction of  tracheo-esophageal turbulence, and a more efficient  burping mode of  vibration with clearer formant structure. Spectrographic evidence of  a fundamental  frequency  did not emerge. These dimensions appeared to have potential diagnostic and therapeutic value, rendering an analysis of  the patient's developing vocal performance  more explicit for  both clinician and patient.