Semi-occluded vocal tract exercises (SOVTEs) are increasingly popular as therapeutic exercises for patients with voice disorders. This popularity is reflected in the growing research literature, investigating the scientific principles underlying SOVTEs and their practical efficacy. This study examines several acoustic, articulatory, and aerodynamic variables before, during, and after short-duration (15 s) SOVTEs with a narrow tube in air. Participants were 20 healthy young adults, and all variables were measured at threshold phonation levels. Acoustic variables were measured with a microphone and a neck accelerometer, and include fundamental frequency, glottal open quotient, and vocal efficiency. Articulatory variables were measured with ultrasound, and include measures of the tongue tip, tongue dorsum, and posterior tongue height, and horizontal tongue length. Aerodynamic variables were measured with an intraoral pressure transducer and include subglottal, intraoral, and transglottal pressures. Lowering of the posterior tongue height and tongue dorsum height were observed with gender-specific small changes in the fundamental frequency, but there were no significant effects on the transglottal pressure or vocal efficiency. These findings suggest that the voices of healthy young adults already approach optimal performance, and the continued search for scientific evidence supporting SOVTEs should focus on populations with voice disorders.

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