Nancye C. Roussel
Dept. of Commun. Disord., Univ. of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette, LA 70504
One of the current options for the restoration of speech in individuals, who have undergone total laryngectomy, is the use of artificial (electronic) larynx devices. These devices can be classified as either transcervical devices, which transmit the acoustic signal to the vocal tract through the skin and other tissues of the neck, or intraoral in which the signal is directed into the oral cavity through a short piece of plastic tubing. Differential effects on single word intelligibility as a function of artificial larynx type were studied. All judges had no previous experience listening to alaryngeal speech. Four brands of the artificial larynx devices were tested and the results revealed a significant increase in intelligibility with the use of transcervical devices. These results were somewhat surprising as earlier informal surveys had intraoral devices rated higher in terms of listener preference. Perceptual error matrices were constructed and are being analyzed, as are acoustic representations of test stimuli to determine possible factors to account for these intelligibility differences. Results of these analyses will be presented.