Nithin K. Alex, Fathimath Jahana Izaath.C, Muhammed Thanis Aseem K.T.K
Abstract: The production of human voice involves a complex series of events in the peripheral phonatory organs which are controlled by the central nervous system ( Sataloff, 2006). PRAAT is very flexible tool to do speech analysis. The word PRAAT is derived from Dutch language which means to talk. The PRAAT software is created by Boersma and Weenink from university of Amsterdam (1992). With advances in computer technology; the sophisticated acoustic analysis of voice has become common practice for many speech and hearing clinicians. Amount of researches has been done to know the norm values for voice parameters using PRAAT Software is less. The aim of the study was to analyse the acoustic voice parameters in young Malayalam speakers across genders. The aim of the study was to establish a normative data of acoustic parameters of voice for Malayalam speakers in the age range of 18 -30 years using PRAAT software. The native Malayalam speakers with normal voice aged between 18 and 30 years were included in the study (30 women, 15 men). The subjects were comfortably seated and recordings were made using a microphone attached to hp laptop in a quiet and well illuminated environment. The microphone was placed at about 3 inches from the mouth of the subjects. Subjects were asked to take a deep breath and phonate /a/, /i/, /u/, as long as possible at a comfortable pitch level. This was demonstrated by examiner for all subjects. The result shows that the mean pitch for female was found to be more than males. The highest mean pitch for both males and females was observed for the vowel /i/. The mean maximum pitch is greatest for female. When each vowel are compared the maximum pitch is found to be highest for female in vowel /i/ and vowel /u/ for males. The result also showed that mean minimum pitch is highest for females than males. On vowel comparison, Vowel /i/ had the highest mean minimum pitch across the gender. The mean jitter value for vowel /u/ was found to be more in both male and females. When compared between the males and females the mean jitter value of male was found to be higher. The mean shimmer value was highest for the vowel /u/ across the gender. However on comparison the mean shimmer value for females was found to be more. The mean NHR value is more for males and females on vowel comparison the value was highest for vowel /u/ for females and vowel /i/ for males. The mean HNR value was found to be higher for females than males, and vowel /i/ had the highest value for males and vowel /a/ for females. So the present study was aimed to establish a normative data across genders for 18 to 30 years adult population using PRAAT software in Indian population, that is the attempt to set a value for Fo, Jitter, Shimmer, NHR and HNR.
Keywords: Acoustic, Voice analysis, PRAAT, Gender, Voice parameters