How do alaryngeal speakers convey glottal stops?

TitleHow do alaryngeal speakers convey glottal stops?
Publication TypePresentation
Year of Publication2006
Conference NameDag van de Fonetiek 2006
Authorsvan Rossum, Maya
PublisherNederlandse Vereniging voor Fonetische Wetenschappen
Conference LocationUtrecht, The Netherlands

To convey glottal stops, laryngeal speakers control the degree of constriction at the larynx. Laryngectomy – usually necessitated by laryngeal cancer – involves surgical removal of the larynx. The new voice source (neo-glottis) is formed by the mucosa and muscles situated at the entrance to the esophagus (foodpipe). Control over the neo-glottis in these tracheo-esophageal (TE) speakers, might influence attempts to convey glottal stops accurately. This study investigated how TE speakers realize glottal stops in abutting words that end and begin with the same vowel. Acoustic analyses showed that TE speakers use different strategies, most notably the insertion of glides (/w/; /j/). Listeners rated the TE speakers’ attempts to convey ‘glottal’ stops less favourably than the control speakers’ glottal stops. The TE speakers’ acoustic realizations that deviated most from what would normally be expected, received the least favourable ratings.