A study of sounds produced by Algerian esophageal speakers
Background: Total Laryngectomy is a mode of treatment of patients with advanced laryngeal cancer. It affects the voice and the speech communication.
Objective: To present an acoustic analysis of the new voice after total laryngectomy in Algerian hospital environment.
Methods: A corpus of sounds was collected from October 2008 to September 2009 and pronounced by eight male speakers who have undergone total laryngectomy. Minimum age of patients was 47 years and maximum age was 59 years with mean age 54.87 years. Recordings were made before the beginning of reeducation and after three, six, and eleven months using esophageal voice. The acoustic analysis includes the Pitch F0 (Hz), Formants, intensity, Jitter (%), Shimmer (dB), harmonic to noise ratio HNR (dB), and degree of unvoiced frames DUF (%).
Results: We note a restriction in F0, increasing of Jitter and Shimmer, decreasing of HNR values, and reduced intensity compared to the voice of normal laryngeal speakers. In addition, we note a higher percentage of DUF during the pronunciation of sustained vowels.
Conclusion: Some deficiencies were reported in the taking care of patients. Therefore, the acoustic analysis may be used in evaluating the reliability of the technique of reeducation.
Key words: Total laryngectomy, pathological voice, acoustic analysis, Jitter, Shimmer.