Vocal Fry and Vowel Height in Simulated Room Acoustics

Lady Catherine Cantor-Cutiva, Pasquale Bottalico, Carlos Toshinori Ishi, Eric James Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of room acoustics in the relationship between vowel height and vocal fry. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. Participants (college students, n = 40) read the first six sentences of "The Rainbow Passage" under nine simulated room acoustic conditions. Using two words with low vowels (act, pot) and two words with high vowels (shape, strikes) preceding a voiceless stop the presence/absence of vocal fry was assessed using an automatic detection script. Generalized estimation equations were used to investigate the relationship between percentage of vocal fry, vowel height, and room acoustics. Results: The percentage of vocal fry was significantly higher for the low-height vowels compared with the high-height vowels (β = 1.21; standard er ror = 0.35), and for pink background noise present (β = 0.89; standard error = 0.35) compared with the condition without artificial noise added. Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that young college students are more likely to produce fry phonation when producing low-height vowels under pink background noise condition compared with no noise conditions and high-height vowels. This result is of special interest for voice clinicians when designing therapy plans and vocal assessment protocols with fry-like components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-124
Number of pages7
JournalFolia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Background noise
  • Reverberation time
  • Vocal fry
  • Vowel height

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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