Voice perturbation measures, formerly defined in a somewhat adhoc fashion, are discussed within the framework of signal theory. An attempt is made to unify a variety of existing jitter, shimmer, and noise measures on the basis of common underlying perturbation functions and their derivatives. Some simple modulations (sinusoid, Gaussian noise, linear trend) are imposed on cyclic parameters in phonation (e.g., amplitude and fundamental frequency) to test the ability of perturbation measures to detect or reject these types of modulations. It is expected that this systematic approach to perturbation analysis will be helpful in identifying the sources of irregularity in the voice and, thereby, in the detection of laryngeal disorders.

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