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Geometry of the Vocal Tract and Properties of Phonation near Threshold: Calculations and Measurements

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA
Institute of Process Machinery and Systems Engineering, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
Department Otorhinolaryngology, Division of Phoniatrics and Pediatric Audiology, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(13), 2755;
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Methods and Engineering Solutions to Voice)
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In voice research, analytically-based models are efficient tools to investigate the basic physical mechanisms of phonation. Calculations based on lumped element models describe the effects of the air in the vocal tract upon threshold pressure (Pth) by its inertance. The latter depends on the geometrical boundary conditions prescribed by the vocal tract length (directly) and its cross-sectional area (inversely). Using Titze’s surface wave model (SWM) to account for the properties of the vocal folds, the influence of the vocal tract inertia is examined by two sets of calculations in combination with experiments that apply silicone-based vocal folds. In the first set, a vocal tract is constructed whose cross-sectional area is adjustable from 2.7 cm2 to 11.7 cm2. In the second set, the length of the vocal tract is varied from 4.0 cm to 59.0 cm. For both sets, the pressure and frequency data are collected and compared with calculations based on the SWM. In most cases, the measurements support the calculations; hence, the model is suited to describe and predict basic mechanisms of phonation and the inertial effects caused by a vocal tract. View Full-Text
Keywords: analytical vocal fold model; fluid–structure interaction; vocal tract inertia analytical vocal fold model; fluid–structure interaction; vocal tract inertia

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Fulcher, L.; Lodermeyer, A.; Kähler, G.; Becker, S.; Kniesburges, S. Geometry of the Vocal Tract and Properties of Phonation near Threshold: Calculations and Measurements. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 2755.

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