Thesis Title

Possible Effects of Voice Fundamental Frequency, Gender and Tongue Position on Phonation Threshold Pressure

Date of Graduation

Summer 1997


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Ronald Netsell


Phonation threshold pressure (Pth) refers to the minimum lung pressure required to initiate phonation. Pth was studied as a function of voice fundamental frequency (f₀), gender, and tongue position. Ten adult native speakers of American English (five men and five women) with no known history of respiratory, laryngeal, speech and hearing problems served as subjects. Subjects were asked to repeat a series just audible /pa/ and /pi/ syllables at five different f₀ levels.The lowest f₀ level was 15% below the subjects conversational f₀, and the highest f₀ level was 45% above the conversational f₀. Pth was measured indirectly as intraoral air pressure during the occlusion phase of the consonant /p/. Pth did not increase systematically for the f₀ levels used in this study. No gender related differences in Pth were found. Pth was not statistically different for the lower tongue position in /pa/ and the higher tongue position in /pi/. Small differences in Pth may have been obscured due to inter-and intrasubject variability. Additional studies with larger subject pools may reveal differences in Pth across tasks.

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


© Smita S Joshi