Second International Workshop on Models and Analysis of Vocal Emissions for Biomedical Applications (MAVEBA 2001)

Florence, Italy
September 13-15, 2001

Pitch Control In Tracheoesophageal Voice

A. Schindler (1), M. L. Garetto (2), M. Spadola Bisetti (2), F. Ottaviani (1), O. Schindler (2)

(1) Clinica Otorinolaringoiatrica IV, Az. Osp. – Polo Universitario “L. Sacco” Università degli studi di Milano, Italy
(2) U.O.A.D.U. Audiologia – Foniatria,, Az. Osp. “S. Giovanni Battista”, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy

Nowadays tracheoesophageal voice prosthesis after total laryngectomy are widely used. Data on maximum phonation time and spectrum have been studied by different authors and are well known. On the contrary pitch control did not received much attention.
   Pitch has an important role not only in singing but also in the prosodic characteristics of speech. To our knowledge pitch variations have been studied in tone languages, but the ability to voluntarily change pitch were not investigated so far. Aim of our study is to analyze the ability of tracheoespphageal voice users to change pitch.
   Twelve male subjects underwent total laryngectomy and a tracheoesophageal prosthesis was inserted. Maximum phonation time was calculated. Each subject was then asked to sing a well known italian song with an interval of a fifth. CSL 4300 B was used for acoustic analysis. Their performance were stored in the PC. A narrow band sonagram was performed and pitch variation analyzed.
   Tracheoesophageal voice users were able to change pitch, but their control was rather poor. It is concluded that tracheoesophageal voice allows pitch variations, but their control appears difficult. Considerations on the influence of time from voice prosthesis insertion, maximum phonation time and spectrum are made.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Schindler, A. / Garetto, M. L. / Bisetti, M. Spadola / Ottaviani, F. / Schindler, O. (2001): "Pitch control in tracheoesophageal voice", In MAVEBA-2001, 65-68.