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January 2022

Microphone sensitivity as a source of variation in nasalance scores

Author(s): Lutz, R., Mayo, R.

Journal/Book: J Speech Hear Res. 1996; 39: 10801 Rockville Pike Rd, Rockville, MD 20852-3279. Amer Speech-Lang-Hearing Assn. 1228-1231.

Abstract: A two-part study was conducted to determine the sources oi variation in nasalance scores derived from the Nasometer. In Study #1, a function generator was used as a signal source to calibrate and input sine and square waves directly into the Nasometer. Ten stimuli ranging from 105 to 330 Hz in 25 Hz increments were evaluated. In Study #2, the same signal source and an amplified loudspeaker were used to calibrate and present square waves to the Nasometer via five different sets of microphones. The sound pressure level of all stimuli was maintained at 88 dB. Each microphone set was calibrated using the 105 Hz signals. Results from Study #1 indicated consistent nasalance scores across all frequencies (i.e., all scores were within 2% of calibration), Results from Study #2 demonstrated deviations greater than 2% from calibration as a function of frequency for ail five sets of microphones. The smallest deviation was 5%, whereas the largest deviation was 14%. We suggest that the variation in nasalance as a function of stimulus frequency may be due to a mismatch in the sensitivity of microphones (i.e., different frequency response characteristics). It is further suggested (a) that individual investigators determine the response characteristics of their microphones and (b) that relatively small variations in nasalance scores (i.e., 5-14%) either within or across speakers be interpreted with caution.

Note: Article Zajac DJ, Univ N Carolina, Ctr Craniofacial, CB 7450, Chapel Hill,NC 27599 USA

Keyword(s): nasalance; speech acoustics; speech instrumentation; NORMAL ADULT SPEAKERS; LISTENER JUDGMENTS; SPEECH; VALUES

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