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J Voice. 1998 Mar;12(1):44-9.

Glottal configuration associated with fundamental frequency and vocal register.

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University of Pittsburgh, The Eye & Ear Institute, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.


Simultaneous measurements of mean airflow rate, vocal intensity and fundamental frequency were made during flexible video endoscopic recording of the vowel /i/ sustained in two vocal registers, modal and falsetto. The glottal closure patterns of four males and four females were evaluated by visually inspecting the video images. Acoustic signals were recorded and analyzed to verify the frequency and intensity criteria. Aerodynamic analysis of mean airflow rate was done via Rothenberg mask and commercial software. Incomplete glottic closure was common in both males and females. The degree of closure was significantly higher for modal samples than for falsetto samples with frequency and intensity held constant. The shape of the glottal closure did not vary with changes in the mode of phonation. As expected, the mean airflow rate increased with decreased glottal closure. The results suggest that incomplete glottic closure should be considered as a normal glottal configuration in high frequency modal and falsetto phonation. Moreover, hourglass and spindle glottal configurations may also be found in both the modal and falsetto registers of normal subjects. These results also confirm the positive relationships between degree of glottal gap and mean airflow rate. Thus, mean airflow rate may be regarded as a criterion for judging degree of glottal closure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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