Impact of Vocal Effort on Respiratory and Articulatory Kinematics

Defne Abur*, Joseph S Perkell, Cara E Stepp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: The goal of this study was to examine the effects of increases in vocal effort, without changing speech intensity, on respiratory and articulatory kinematics in young adults with typical voices.

METHOD: A total of 10 participants completed a reading task under three speaking conditions: baseline, mild vocal effort, and maximum vocal effort. Respiratory inductance plethysmography bands around the chest and abdomen were used to estimate lung volumes during speech, and sensor coils for electromagnetic articulography were used to transduce articulatory movements, resulting in the following outcome measures: lung volume at speech initiation (LVSI) and at speech termination (LVST), articulatory kinematic vowel space (AKVS) of two points on the tongue dorsum (body and blade), and lip aperture.

RESULTS: With increases in vocal effort, and no statistical changes in speech intensity, speakers showed: (a) no statistically significant differences in LVST, (b) statistically significant increases in LVSI, (c) no statistically significant differences in AKVS measures, and (d) statistically significant reductions in lip aperture.

CONCLUSIONS: Speakers with typical voices exhibited larger lung volumes at speech initiation during increases in vocal effort, paired with reduced lip displacements. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate evidence that articulatory kinematics are impacted by modulations in vocal effort. However, the mechanisms underlying vocal effort may differ between speakers with and without voice disorders. Thus, future work should examine the relationship between articulatory kinematics, respiratory kinematics, and laryngeal-level changes during vocal effort in speakers with and without voice disorders.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-21
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of speech, language, and hearing research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12-Jan-2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Speech
  • Speech Acoustics
  • Speech Production Measurement
  • Tongue
  • Voice
  • Young Adult

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