The incidence of hard glottal attack in normal speakers
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The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of hard glottal attack in speakers whose voices we consider to be normal. The investigation used individuals from the Northern Illinois region. Thirty- eight speakers, ranging in age from seventeen years to thirty-four years, were required to read four categories of stimulus material to be tape recorded. The four categories consisted of a paragraph, initial vowel words, a repeated vowel sound and a prolonged vowel sound. Sonographic analyses in the form of amplitude displays as well as trained listener perception were utilized to identify hard glottal attack from the recorded speech samples, Hard glottal attack was observed in roughly 70 percent of the population according to sonographic analysis of the prolonged vowel speech sound. Judges' perceptions of whether or not the speaker had a hard glottal attack varied between categories of reading material. Hard glottal attack was least likely to be perceived when the speaker was presenting connected discourse as in reading. It was surprising to find that all of the females were judged to have hard glottal attack on the repeated vowel sound "ah", while the majority of the male subjects were most likely to be judged to have hard attack on the single words. When analyzing the data, it was discovered that the variables of pitch, smoking, and level of vocational use of voice, were not associated with the incidence of hard glottal attack in normal speakers. These results, in general, support the view that functional voice pathologies are made up of several etiological factors with no single causative agent. The voice clinician, therefore, should search for multiple behavioral anomalies rather than any single aspect of the voice disorder.