Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

The International Conference on Bio-inspired Systems and Signal Processing


During voiced speech, the larynx provides quasi-periodic acoustic excitation of the vocal tract. In most electrolarynxes, mechanical vibrations are produced by a linear electromechanical actuator, the armature of which percusses against a metal or plastic plate at a frequency within the range of glottal excitation. In this paper, the intelligibility of speech produced using a novel hands-free actuator is compared to speech produced using a conventional electrolarynx. Two able-bodied speakers (one male, one female) performed a closed response test containing 28 monosyllabic words, once using a conventional electrolarynx and a second time using the novel design. The resulting audio recordings were randomized and replayed to ten listeners who recorded each word that they heard. The results show that the speech produced using the hands-free actuator was substantially more intelligible to the majority of listeners than that produced using the conventional electrolarynx. The new actuator has properties (size, weight, shape, cost) which lends itself as a suitable candidate for possible hands-free operation. This is one of the research ideals for the group and this test methodology presented as a means of testing intelligibility. This paper outlines the procedure for the possible testing of intelligibility of electrolarynx designs.