The glossectomy procedure, involving surgical resection of cancerous lingual tissue, has long been observed to affect speech production. This study aims to quantitatively index and compare complexity of vocal tract shaping due to lingual movement in individuals who have undergone glossectomy and typical speakers using real-time magnetic resonance imaging data and Principal Component Analysis. The data reveal that (i) the type of glossectomy undergone largely predicts the patterns in vocal tract shaping observed, (ii) gross forward and backward motion of the tongue body accounts for more change in vocal tract shaping than do subtler movements of the tongue (e.g., tongue tip constrictions) in patient data, and (iii) fewer vocal tract shaping components are required to account for the patients' speech data than typical speech data, suggesting that the patient data at hand exhibit less complex vocal tract shaping in the midsagittal plane than do the data from the typical speakers observed.

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