A new method for obtaining accurate estimates of vocal-tract filters and glottal waves from vowel sounds

TitleA new method for obtaining accurate estimates of vocal-tract filters and glottal waves from vowel sounds
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsDeng, H., R. K. Ward, M. P. Beddoes, and M. Hodgson
JournalAudio, Speech, and Language Processing, IEEE Transactions on
Pagination445 - 455
Date Publishedmar.
Keywordsfiltering theory, glottal-wave estimates, inverse filtering, magnetic resonance image, parameter estimation, random processes, speech processing, vocal-tract filters estimation, vowel sounds

Previously, estimating vocal-tract filters and glottal waves from vowel sounds imposed either the invalid assumption that glottal waves over closed glottal intervals are zero, or parametric models for glottal waves, resulting in biased vocal-tract-filter estimates and glottal-wave estimates lacking information over closed glottal intervals. We obtain unbiased vocal-tract-filter estimates from sustained vowel sounds, for which the glottal waveforms are periodically stationary random processes. Two equations are constructed each relating the vocal-tract filter to the sound signal and the glottal wave over one of two closed glottal intervals. By subtracting one equation from the other, the periodic components of the glottal wave are eliminated from the vocal-tract-filter estimation, and an unbiased vocal-tract-filter estimate is obtained. The average of many such estimates from different closed glottal intervals of the sound is the final estimate, which is used to obtain the glottal wave by inverse filtering the sound. The results obtained from vowel sounds /a/ produced by some subjects are presented. Over closed glottal phases, the glottal waves obtained are nonzero. During vocal-fold colliding, they increase; during vocal-fold parting, they decrease or even increase. The vocal-tract filters obtained yield vocal-tract area functions similar to that measured from an unknown subject's magnetic resonance image.


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