Archives of Acoustics, 32, 4(S), pp. 151-158, 2007

Acoustic analysis of esophageal speech in patients after total laryngectomy

Wiesław Wszołek
AGH University of Science and Technology, Department of Mechanics and Vibroacoustics, Al. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Kraków
Poland

Maciej Modrzejewski
Jagiellonian University, Collegium Medicum, Św. Anny 12, 31-008 Kraków
Poland

Monika Przysiężny
Jagiellonian University, Collegium Medicum, Św. Anny 12, 31-008 Kraków
Poland

Laryngeal cancer is one of the most frequent types of malignant tumor in male patients and
it is located at position 5 among all the malignant tumors. The primary method of laryngeal
carcinoma treatment for the cases with advanced cancer stages is the surgical treatment. In
such a treatment the most frequent version is the total extraction of the organ. An effective
postoperative therapy leads to the extension of the patients life-time, but the price is a serious
disability, considerably impairing the patients communication with other persons. Therefore
there is a problem of creation of a substitute voice and speech for those patients. The creation
mechanism of the esophageal speech is the formation of vibration generator in the upper part
of oesophagus. The substitute air container is formed by the oesophagus itself and the air
vibrations in the upper part of oesophagus, generated during the anti-peristaltic motion of the
air removed from oesophagus, create the primary pitch. The modulation of the fundamental
pitch is obtained by the unchanged articulation organs and resonance cavities of the body.
In the present paper an acoustic study of esophageal speech is described. An attempt has
been made to determine the acoustic signal parameters, which can be useful in evaluation of
esophageal speech quality.
Keywords: speech analysis, speech recognition, pitch determination, pathological speech.
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