The process of aging is generally associated with a number of changes in physiological, cognitive, psychological and social domains, including modifications on vocal quality of individuals. This paper presents a recent project - VoxSenes - that intends to bridge knowledge gaps in the speech changes due to aging. A deeper knowledge on how speech changes with age is essential for the development of automatic speech recognition systems suitable for older’s voices and to clinical assessment of speech disorders. The VoxSenes project aims to study aging voice at segmental and suprasegmental level, by analyzing the variation of acoustic and articulatory parameters. The most relevant age-related results include: an increase in vowel duration, an approximation of F0 between genders, a centralization of the vowel space for males and an increase in speech pauses. The unsupervised method already developed to extract tongue contours from ultrasound tongue images provides the required data for an automatic analysis of relevant parameters to assess speech changes on vowel production. An analysis of articulatory space of EP vowels is ongoing for speakers of different age groups, as well as a longitudinal study of age-related changes in speech rhythm.
Oliveira, C, Valente, A.R, Albuquerque, L, Barros, F, Martins, P, Silva, S, Teixeira, A (2021) The Vox Senes project: a study of segmental changes and rhythm variations on European Portuguese aging voice. Proc. IberSPEECH 2021, 135-138, doi: 10.21437/IberSPEECH.2021-29.