Methods and studies of laryngeal voice quality analysis in speech production

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Doctoral thesis (article-based)
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Voice quality, defined by John Laver as the characteristic auditory colouring of a speaker's voice, is a significant feature of speech, and it is used to signal various properties such as emotions, intentions, and mood of the speaker. While voice quality measurement techniques and algorithms have been developed, much work is needed to obtain a comprehensive view of the function and analysis of human voice in the production of different voice qualities. Two major research questions are presented in this thesis: First, how can the most important laryngeal voice quality features be analyzed, and second, how do the voice quality features affect different facets of vocal expression? To answer these questions, five separate studies of the analysis methodology and two studies regarding the voice quality behaviour were published. The methodology articles describe a voice source analysis software package; a comparison of multiple voice source parameters in breathy, normal, and pressed phonation; a method for evaluating inverse filtering algorithms; comparison of two inverse filtering algorithms; and a method for analyzing intensity regulation of speech. One analysis article studies changes in the laryngeal voice quality when different emotions are expressed in speech and another voice quality changes in expression of prominence in continuous speech. The methodology studies resulted in new tools, methods, and guidelines for voice source analysis, while the analysis studies provide information on how voice quality is used in expressive speech.
speech processing, voice quality, glottal inverse filtering, vocal expression of emotions
Other note
  • [Publication 1]: Matti Airas and Paavo Alku. 2006. Emotions in vowel segments of continuous speech: Analysis of the glottal flow using the normalised amplitude quotient. Phonetica, volume 63, number 1, pages 26-46. © 2006 S. Karger AG. By permission.
  • [Publication 2]: Matti Airas, Paavo Alku, and Martti Vainio. 2007. Laryngeal voice quality changes in expression of prominence in continuous speech. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop on Models and Analysis of Vocal Emissions for Biomedical Applications (MAVEBA 2007). Florence, Italy, 13-15 December 2007, pages 135-138. © 2007 Firenze University Press. By permission.
  • [Publication 3]: Matti Airas. 2008. TKK Aparat: An environment for voice inverse filtering and parameterization. Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology, volume 33, number 1, pages 49-64. © 2008 Taylor & Francis. By permission.
  • [Publication 4]: Matti Airas and Paavo Alku. 2007. Comparison of multiple voice source parameters in different phonation types. In: Proceedings of the 8th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (Interspeech 2007). Antwerpen, Belgium, 27-31 August 2007, pages 1410-1413. © 2007 International Speech Communication Association (ISCA). By permission.
  • [Publication 5]: Paavo Alku, Brad Story, and Matti Airas. 2006. Estimation of the voice source from speech pressure signals: Evaluation of an inverse filtering technique using physical modelling of voice production. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, volume 58, number 2, pages 102-113. © 2006 S. Karger AG. By permission.
  • [Publication 6]: Laura Lehto, Matti Airas, Eva Björkner, Johan Sundberg, and Paavo Alku. 2007. Comparison of two inverse filtering methods in parameterization of the glottal closing phase characteristics in different phonation types. Journal of Voice, volume 21, number 2, pages 138-150. © 2007 Elsevier Science. By permission.
  • [Publication 7]: Paavo Alku, Matti Airas, Eva Björkner, and Johan Sundberg. 2006. An amplitude quotient based method to analyze changes in the shape of the glottal pulse in the regulation of vocal intensity. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, volume 120, number 2, pages 1052-1062. © 2006 Acoustical Society of America. By permission.