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Some Properties of Formant Frequencies of Vowels by Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

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Other Title
  • ろう・難聴児の母音のホルマント周波数の性質
  • ロウ ナンチョウジ ノ ボイン ノ ホルマント シュウハスウ ノ セイシツ

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Abstract

First and second formant frequencies (FI and F2) of the five Japanese vowels uttered in isolation by 35 deaf and hard of hearing children (aged 6 to 11) were measured utilizing an audio spectrograph, and the results were compared with those of 8 normal children (aged 7 to 12). The distribution of the formant frequencies of each kind of vowel on the Fz - F2 plane shows that those of the afflicted children deviate significantly from the normal range especially for /i/ and /0/. The tendency toward perceptual confusion regarding the type of vowel corresponds well to the deviation of the formant frequencies. The relations between the formant frequencies of the five Japanese vowels of each of the defective children were classified into the following six types : F2 range reduced, F2 range reduced and rotated, F2 range reduced and /o/ and /a/ close together, F2 range reduced and /i/ and /e/ close together, F2 range neutralized, and F2 range reduced with FI raised. Based on a muscle contraction model of the speech organs, the results can be explained in terms of the nature of the imperfection of the articulatory movement.

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