ASA 128th Meeting - Austin, Texas - 1994 Nov 28 .. Dec 02

4pSP8. Exploring the relationship of breath intake to utterance duration.

D. H. Whalen

J. M. Kinsella-Shaw

Haskins Labs., 270 Crown St., New Haven, CT 06511

Previous work has indicated that there may be a positive relationship between the duration and extent of breath intake and the length of an upcoming utterance. However, none of that work has been free of alternative interpretations. An attempt was made to avoid some of those by forcing subjects to utter single sentences ranging in length from 5 to 82 syllables (mean of 27), after inspiring fully and then expiring down to a set level before uttering the sentence. For three subjects, there was a significant positive relationship between breath intake and utterance length (0.65, 0.50, and 0.29 individually). This was still true without those utterances containing a secondary breath (0.53, 0.54, and 0.29). The two subjects with the higher correlations also exhaled more quickly for the shorter sentences than longer ones. The other subject had no correlation with exhalation rate: He might have been selecting a point within a rather large range of starting lung volumes, with only the longest sentences requiring that the range's lower part be avoided. The individual differences need further investigation, but there is a correlation between the duration of the sentence to be said and the breath before it. [Work supported by NIH Grant No. HD-01994.]