Acoustic and perceptual characteristics of esophageal and tracheoesophageal speech production

T Most, Y Tobin, R C Mimran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study comprehensively compared the speech of laryngeal speakers (L), tracheoesophageal speakers (TE), good esophageal speakers (GE), and moderate esophageal speakers (ME) to determine the consequences of TE versus E speech rehabilitation. Twenty speakers (five in each group) were each recorded while reading 16 sentences, and their recordings were analyzed acoustically and perceptually. Acoustic analysis included duration, intensity, fundamental frequency (F0), intonation, and voice onset time measurements. Perceptual analysis included intelligibility and acceptability judgments by naive listeners. The main acoustic results showed that L speakers differ significantly from all alaryngeal speakers in F0 and intonation production. Moderate esophageal speakers differed significantly from all other groups in duration measures. Perceptual results revealed that L speakers were most intelligible and acceptable, whereas ME speakers were least so. Tracheoesophageal speakers were more acceptable than GE speakers but not more intelligible. Significant correlations emerged between F0, duration measures, and acceptability, and between F0 and intelligibility. Also, a significant correlation emerged between acceptability and intelligibility. Findings emphasized the importance of categorizing esophageal speakers into groups based on their speech proficiency level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-180
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Jun 2000


  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Speech/physiology
  • Speech Acoustics
  • Speech Intelligibility
  • Speech Production Measurement
  • Speech, Esophageal
  • Trachea/physiology
  • Voice Quality


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