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Austin_ASA_03 - Shifting Perceptions of Age in Voice R ahul...

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Shifting Perceptions of Age in Voice Rahul Shrivastav, Ph.D., Harry Hollien, Ph.D., W. S. Brown, J r., Ph.D., Howard B. Rothman, Ph.D., & J ames D. Harnsberger, Ph.D. E-mail: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Florida, Gainesville INTRODUCTION While the elderly population increases worldwide, the effect of the normal aging process on speech production, and how these changes are perceived by listeners, is poorly understood. It is vital for clinical purposes to understand the normal aging process for speech production in order to evaluate speech disorders in the elderly population. Speaker age also represents an important “indexical” (nonlinguistic) aspect of the speech signal that is represented along with linguistic information (e.g., phonemes, syllables, words, etc.) and other indexical properties (e.g., token characteristics, speaker identity, gender) in long-term memory. A complete model of the mental representation of speech must incorporate speaker age. A number of physiological changes to the vocal tract have been identified or suggested in prior research: Lengthening of the vocal tract or oral cavity: Endres, Bambach, and Flosser, 1971; Xue and Hao (2003). Reduction in pulmonary function: Ptacek, Sander, Manoley, and Jackson, 1966. Laryngeal cartilage ossification: Kahane (1987). Increased stiffening of vocal folds (particularly in males): Honjo and Isshiki (1980); Kahane (1980, 1981, 1983 1987). Reduced closure of vocal folds (particularly in males): Yumoto, Sasaki, and Okamura (1984); Ferrand (2002); Linville (2002). These physiological changes have, in turn, been used to predict acoustic correlates to aging in voices, including: Mean fundamental frequency, henceforth f0, (higher in older males, lower in older females): Mysak, 1959; McGlone and Hollien, 1963; Hollien and Shipp, 1972; Mueller, 1985; Higgins and Saxman, 1991; Russell, Penny, and Pemberton, 1995; Ferrand, 2002. f0 variability (increase with age): Ptacek, Sander, Manoley, and Jackson, 1966; Hollien and Shipp, 1972; Scukanec, Petrosino, and Rastatter, 1992.
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