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J Acoust Soc Am. 2009 Nov;126(5):2619-34. doi: 10.1121/1.3224706.

Acoustic measurement of overall voice quality: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Sint-Jan General Hospital, Ruddershove 10, 8000 Bruges, Belgium.


Over the past several decades, many acoustic markers have been proposed to be sensitive to and measure overall voice quality. This meta-analysis presents a retrospective appraisal of scientific reports, which evaluated the relation between perceived overall voice quality and several acoustic-phonetic correlates. Twenty-five studies met the inclusion criteria and were evaluated using meta-analytic techniques. Correlation coefficients between perceptual judgments and acoustic measures were computed. Where more than one correlation coefficient for a specific acoustic marker was available, a weighted average correlation coefficient was calculated. This was the case in 36 acoustic measures on sustained vowels and in 3 measures on continuous speech. Acoustic measures were ranked according to the strength of the correlation with perceptual voice quality ratings. Acoustic markers with more than one correlation value available in literature and yielding a homogeneous weighted r of 0.60 or above were considered to be superior. The meta-analysis identified four measures that met these criteria in sustained vowels and three measures in continuous speech. Although acoustic measures are routinely utilized in clinical voice examinations, the results of this meta-analysis suggest that caution is warranted regarding the concurrent validity and thus the clinical utility of many of these measures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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