Hypernasality is one of the most detrimental speech disturbances that lead to declines of speech intelligibility. Velopharyngeal inadequacy, which is associated with anatomic defects such as cleft palate or neuromuscular disorders that affect velopharygneal function, is the primary cause of hypernasality. A simulation study by Rong and Kuehn [J. Speech Lang. Hear. Res. 55(5), 1438-1448 (2012)] demonstrated that properly adjusted oropharyngeal articulation can reduce nasality for vowels synthesized with an articulatory model [Mermelstein, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 53(4), 1070-1082 (1973)]. In this study, a speaker-adaptive articulatory model was developed to simulate speaker-customized oropharyngeal articulatory adaptation to compensate for the acoustic effects of nasalization on /a/, /i/, and /u/. The results demonstrated that (1) the oropharyngeal articulatory adaptation effectively counteracted the effects of nasalization on the second lowest formant frequency (F2) and partially compensated for the effects of nasalization on vowel space (e.g., shifting and constriction of vowel space) and (2) the articulatory adaptation strategies generated by the speaker-adaptive model might be more efficacious for counteracting the acoustic effects of nasalization compared to the adaptation strategies generated by the standard articulatory model in Rong and Kuehn. The findings of this study indicated the potential of using oropharyngeal articulatory adaptation as a means to correct maladaptive articulatory behaviors and to reduce nasality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics