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J Voice. 1999 Dec;13(4):542-56.

Diplophonia reappraised.

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  • 1Department of Human Communication Science, University College London, United Kingdom.


The acoustic structure of diplophonia was investigated spectrographically and in terms of perturbation measures, while the perception of diplophonia among other voice qualities was confirmed auditorily by trained listeners. Recordings of pathological voices were presented to listeners for systematic evaluation, and narrowband spectrography was used to quantify the subharmonics within each sample. Subharmonics strongly correlated with the perception of diplophonia, but occurrence was mostly intermittent, and structure was highly variable between samples. Uniquely among voice qualities identified perceptually, diplophonia was found to correlate positively with the number of subharmonics (irrespective of percentage of occurrence) and with perturbation parameters measured separately. Exceptions to these group results indicated that diplophonia was perceived sometimes in the absence of subharmonic structure, and subharmonic structure was observed without a commensurate perception of diplophonia. In light of these data, a less deterministic relation between diplophonia and subharmonic structure is proposed.

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