27. November 2018

14.00 o'clock,
ARI Seminar Room, Wohllebengasse 12-14, Groundfloor

A guided tour of the human vocal scenery - Jean Schoentgen

Abstract: Jean Schoentgen- Ecole polytechnique de Bruxelles

The object of the presentation is an overview of human voice quality. The latter designates the speaker-typical acoustical background that is quasi permanent in the speech of human subjects. The coexistence of a lasting speaker-distinctive background with a communicative foreground in the same frequency band is explained in terms of phonatory and vocal tract settings that bias the quasi-totality of speech sounds emitted by a human speaker. Vocal settings are categorised with regard to a bias-free neutral setting. The latter implicitly defines ‘normal’ speech and guides the investigation and methodical presentation of non-neutral voice qualities because the latter may be made to differ from neutral in terms by one acoustic attribute or vibratory pattern at a time. The presentation is based on auditory demonstrations that illustrate non-neutral voice qualities in disordered speech or voice as well as their use for artistic purposes. Examples of settings that are discussed are the co-vibration of the true with auxiliary laryngeal folds (e.g. growling, trilling, harshness), vocal registers (e.g. creak, modal, falsetto), breathiness and roughness, pressed and lax voice as well as glottal reinforcement in German that illustrates the difficulties naive listeners may experience distinguishing voice quality from distinctive properties of speech sounds.