Speech and Hearing Science

1. Identify two factors that affect the frequency of vibration and describe the way in which each factor affects frequency.

a. _________________________________________________________

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b. _________________________________________________________


2. The distance that one cycle of vibration occupies in space is known as ________________________________________.

3. During vowel production, the acoustic signal that leaves the mouth has a spectral configuration which is the product of the _______________ function and the _________________ function.

4. A tuning fork is set into vibration. The type of waveform that will result is ______________________. In time, the amplitude of vibration will decrease. This phenomenon is known as _____________________________________.




5. The supra laryngeal vocal tract acts as a complex (LOW PASS / BAND PASS / HIGH PASS / BAND REJECT)filter.

6. Amplitude of vibration is determined by:

_____________________________ and _______________________________.

7. The frequencies at which the vocal tract “filter” permits maximum energy transfer are called _____________________________________.

8. A sinusoidal waveform — like any simple harmonic motion — can be completely specified if three parameters are known: _______________________________; _____________________________; _______________________________.

9. ______________________________ is the restoring force that causes air particles to bounce back when displaced. _______________________________ is the force which permits an air particle to move beyond its theoretical “resting” position during vibration.

10. There are two classes of a periodic complex signals: _____________________________ and _______________________________.

11. An amplitude spectrum displays _______________________ information as a function of _________________________. The amplitude spectrum of a complex periodic waveform is called a(n) _____________________________. The amplitude spectrum of an aperiodic complex waveform is called a(n) __________________________________.

12. Deviation of a sinusoidal wave from the zero line to its peak or trough is known as ____________________________.

13. Harmonics are more closely spaced for signals with (HIGH / LOW)fundamental frequencies.

14. Lowering the larynx has the effect of (SHORTENING / LENGTHENING)the vocal tract, which will (INCREASE / DECREASE)the cross-sectional area of the vocal tract and (INCREASE / DECREASE)all resonant frequencies.

15. The time it takes for a complex quasi-periodicwaveform to complete one cycle of vibration is called _______________________________.

16. What is the frequency of a sinusoidal waveform having a wavelength of 1.372 meters? __________________________





17. If a speaker produces the vowel /u/ two times, first at an foof 230 Hz and then again at 250 Hz, the (TRANSFER FUNCTION / GLOTTALSOURCE / BOTH GLOTTAL SOURCE AND TRANSFER FUNCTION)has/have changed.

18. Two 120 Hz sinusoidal waves, having peak-to-peak amplitudes of 0.0008 dynes/cm2and .0004 dynes/cm2are shifted in time by one-half period. These two waves are said to be _____ degrees out-of-phase. Describe the waveform that would result if these two sound waves were added together:

TYPE OF WAVEFORM _______________________________

FREQUENCY _______________________________

PEAK AMPLITUDE _______________________________

19. If a speaker produces the vowel /i/ at 100 Hz and then the vowel /u/ at 150 Hz, the ( TRANSFER FUNCTION / GLOTTAL SOURCE / BOTH GLOTTAL SOURCE AND TRANSFER FUNCTION )has/have changed.

20. According to the Acoustic Transmission Line resonance model, the vocal tract can be modeled after a uniform tube which is closed at the _____________ end and open at the ___________. This system is known as a(n) _______________ resonator. It can only be applied to the resonance characteristics of one American English vowel: _____.

21. Identify the type of spectra that will result for a:

Complex quasi- periodic signal _____________________________

Complex aperiodic signal _________________________________

Hoarse vowel production _________________________________

22. If a speaker produces the diphthong /au/ at a fundamental frequency of 250 Hz. Which of the following has/have changed during the production? (VOCAL TRACT TRANSFER FUNCTION / GLOTTAL SOURCE / BOTH GLOTTAL SOURCE AND VOCAL TRACT TRANSFER FUNCTION / NEITHER GLOTTAL SOURCE OR VOCAL TRACT TRANSFER FUNCTION).

23. During vowel production, the cross-sectional area of the vocal tract is determined by: ______________________________; ______________________________ and ______________________________.

24. Using the Double Helmholtz Resonatormodel, explain why, among American English vowels, F1 and F2 are maximally divergent for the vowel /i/.




A. Examine the waveforms below. They occur simultaneously in the same medium. Amplitude values are expressed in millivolts (mV). (20 points)

  • 4.5
  • / ŋ /
  • / j /
  • / s /
  • / dʒ/
  • / h /
  • / w /
  • / i /
  • / tʃ /
  • / Ө /
  • / k /

TIME (msec)

For each waveform, describe the following (remember to include units of measurement):

Wave A Wave B

Period: __________ __________

Frequency: __________ __________

Peak Amplitude: __________ __________

Peak-to-peak Amplitude: __________ __________

Wavelength: __________ __________

Describe the phase relationship between:

Waves A and B. ________________________________________

In the space below draw the resulting waveform and spectrum (label both axes and provide units of measurement)

B. The figure below shows a few cycles of a sustained /a/ production at a speaker’s comfortable pitch and loudness. Amplitude is in milliVolts (mV) (20 points)



0 3.5 7

Time (ms)

1. What is the fundamental period of this waveform? _____________

2. What is the fundamental frequency of this waveform? _____________

3. What is the period of the first harmonic? _____________

4. What is the frequency of the first harmonic? ______________

5. What is the frequency of the fifth harmonic? ______________

6. What is the maximum peak-to-peak amplitude (in Volts)? ____________

7. What is the maximum peak amplitude (in Volts)? ____________

8. Compute the wavelength of this signal propagated in air (assuming normal atmospheric conditions) ________________

9. Was this /a/ produced by an adult male, adult female, or child? ________

10. Draw the spectrum of this signal (up to 2000 Hz) before it was filtered by the vocal tract. (glottal spectrum)


  • For each of the following phonemes, identify the vocal tract sound source or sources(specificanatomic location(s) within the vocal tract) and provide a completeacoustic description.(24 points)

Phoneme Sound Source Acoustic Description


A bouquet of helium balloons has been delivered to a party you are attending. At one point during the evening, the host (an adult female who presents with a vocal tract length of 14.25 cm.) inhales the gas from the balloon and prolongs the vowel /Λ/. You note that the host’s vocal quality is somewhat peculiar. (HINT: The propagation velocity of sound in helium is 1005 m/sec)

Given the fundamental period of the host’s / Λ / was 4.17 msec., draw:

  • The glottal source spectrum (only up to 2000 Hz)
  • The vocal tract transfer function (showing the first 3 resonantfrequencies)
  • The spectrum of the vowel after the signal has passed through the supralaryngeal vocal tract (only up to 2000 Hz)
  • What do you think accounted for the host’s peculiar vocal quality?


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