The vocal tract shape is three-dimensionally complex. For accurate acoustic analysis, a finite-difference time-domain method was introduced in the present study. By this method, transfer functions of the vocal tract for the five Japanese vowels were calculated from three-dimensionally reconstructed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. The calculated transfer functions were compared with those obtained from acoustic measurements of vocal tract physical models precisely constructed from the same MRI data. Calculated transfer functions agreed well with measured ones up to 10 kHz. Acoustic effects of the piriform fossae, epiglottic valleculae, and inter-dental spaces were also examined. They caused spectral changes by generating dips. The amount of change was significant for the piriform fossae, while it was almost negligible for the other two. The piriform fossae and valleculae generated spectral dips for all the vowels. The dip frequencies of the piriform fossae were almost stable, while those of the valleculae varied among vowels. The inter-dental spaces generated very small spectral dips below 2.5 kHz for the high and middle vowels. In addition, transverse resonances within the oral cavity generated small spectral dips above 4 kHz for the low vowels.
Acoustic analysis of the vocal tract during vowel production by finite-difference time-domain method
Hironori Takemoto, Parham Mokhtari, Tatsuya Kitamura; Acoustic analysis of the vocal tract during vowel production by finite-difference time-domain method. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 December 2010; 128 (6): 3724–3738. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.3502470
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