Roughness is a sound quality that has been related to the amplitude modulation characteristics of the acoustic stimulus. Roughness also is considered one of the primary elements of voice quality associated with natural variations across normal voices and is a salient feature of many dysphonic voices. It is known that the roughness of tonal stimuli is dependent on the frequency and depth of amplitude modulation and on the carrier frequency. Here, it is determined if similar dependencies exist for voiced speech stimuli. Knowledge of such dependencies can lead to a better understanding of the acoustic characteristics of vocal roughness along the continuum of normal to dysphonic and may facilitate computational estimates of vocal roughness. Synthetic vowel stimuli were modeled after talkers selected from the Satloff/Heman-Ackah disordered voice database. To parametrically control amplitude modulation frequency and depth, synthesized stimuli had minimal amplitude fluctuations, and amplitude modulation was superimposed with the desired frequency and depth. Perceptual roughness judgments depended on amplitude modulation frequency and depth in a manner that closely matched data from tonal carriers. The dependence of perceived roughness on amplitude modulation frequency and depth closely matched the roughness of sinusoidal carriers as reported by Fastl and Zwicker [(2007) Psychoacoustics: Facts and Models, 3rd ed. (Springer, New York)].

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