Hypernasality is associated with various diseases and interferes with speech intelligibility. A recently developed quantitative index called voice low tone to high tone ratio (VLHR) was used to estimate nasalization. The voice spectrum is divided into low-frequency power (LFP) and high-frequency power (HFP) by a specific cutoff frequency (600 Hz). VLHR is defined as the division of LFP into HFP and is expressed in decibels. Voice signals of the sustained vowel [a :] and its nasalization in eight subjects with hypernasality were collected for analysis of nasalance and VLHR. The correlation of VLHR with nasalance scores was significant (r = 0.76, p < 0.01), and so was the correlation between VLHR and perceptual hypernasality scores (r = 0.80, p < 0.01). Simultaneous recordings of nasal airflow temperature with a thermistor and voice signals in another 8 healthy subjects showed a significant correlation between temperature rate of nasal airflow and VLHR (r = 0.76, p < 0.01), as well. We conclude that VLHR may become a potential quantitative index of hypernasal speech and can be applied in either basic or clinical studies.
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