Participatory enquiry for a bionic voice

TitleParticipatory enquiry for a bionic voice
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsHagmüller, M., Fuchs A. K., & Bath C.
EditorManfredi, C.
Conference NameProceedings of the 10th International Workshop Models and analysis of vocal emissions for biomedical applications
Date Published12/2017
PublisherFirenze University Press
Conference LocationFlorence, Italy
ISBN Number978-88-6453-606-4

People who have lost their larynx and thus speech functionality need a substitution voice to regain speech. Three main approaches exist, all of which have severe disadvantages. Previously, we have been working on improving the state-of-the-art for an electronic speaking aid. The current stage of our project has a special focus on a gender appropriate voice for laryngectomised speakers. To better understand the needs of the potential users of a bionic voice we adopted a participatory inquiry that involved interaction with 17 people without a larynx, of which 9 were female. All common substitution voices were used in the test sample. We spent between 1.5 and 6 hours with the individuals per session and had one to four visits. We learned that for all of them a natural voice is important. Most of the laryngectomees reject the use of a speaking aid, because of its bad sound. Women were specifically against the speaking aid. Desired properties of a bionic voice were an assertive voice, a voice matching ones personality. Women want to be recognized as female and have an attractive voice. They suffer from the low fundamental frequency of all substitution voices.

Citation Keyhagmueller+2017
Refereed DesignationRefereed
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