15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

The Aging Voice: An Acoustic, Electroglottographic and Perceptive Analysis of Male and Female Voices

Ralf Winkler, M. Brückl, Walter F. Sendlmeier

Technical University Berlin, Germany

This study examines the differences between young and old adult voices. Acoustic cues in voices that enable listeners to recognize a speaker's vocal age are specified as well as acoustic cues that straightly indicate the speaker's chronological age. Electroglottographic data were used to directly examine glottal behaviour in aging voices.
   We found a strong spectral attenuation of high frequencies in aging male voices assumed to result from rather sinusoidal glottal excitation. Increasing amplitude perturbation is an indicator of increasing age even on the basis of spontaneous speech. Reading rate decreases with increasing age, whereas there is no significant change in articulation rate of spontaneous speech in women's voices. Based on sustained vowels of female voices, the frequency tremor intensity index indicates age more accurately than F0 and amplitude perturbations. We also found evidence for the relevance of the vowel onset to recognize age more accurately.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Winkler, Ralf / Brückl, M. / Sendlmeier, Walter F. (2003): "The aging voice: an acoustic, electroglottographic and perceptive analysis of male and female voices", In ICPhS-15, 2869-2872.