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Maximum Phonation Time (MPT)

Maximum Phonation Time (MPT) is a useful measure of vocal function. It is quick and easy to administer and provides a simple test of glottic efficiency. This article describes how to calculate MPT and how to interpret MPT results.

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Vocal Nodules

Vocal nodules are non-malignant calluses on the vocal cords. They may be large or small, soft or hard. They are caused by trauma to the vocal cords because of vocal misuse and abuse. The voice sounds rough with associated breathiness. Pitch and pitch range is restricted. Voice therapy is the preferred treatment option. However, hard (fibrosed) vocal nodules will first require surgical removal followed by voice therapy to eliminate abusive vocal behaviors that might lead to a recurrence.

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Tempo

What is tempo? Tempo is a person’s speaking rate or rate of speech. Tempo is a component of prosody. However, it is also a constituent of rhythm. Rhythm in turn is a product of stress and accent. So, whilst it is convenient to consider…

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Loudness

Loudness is the perception of how intense sounds appear to be. The greater the amplitude of the vocal fold vibration, the louder we perceive a speech sound to be. Vocal loudness is measured in decibels (dB).

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Pitch

The frequency of vibration of the vocal folds is the number of vibrations per second. The frequency is perceived as the pitch of the voice. Fundamental frequency varies by sex and age. Human speech typically ranges from 100-10,000 Hz.

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Intonation

Intonation is the musical quality that accompanies speech. It is created through rhythmic changes and distinctive pitch changes known as tones. Primary tones either fall or rise. The ability to vary intonation contours is important in expressing a diversity of intellectual and emotional meanings, attitudes, and similar.

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Rhythm

Rhythm is the perceived evenness or unevenness of the rate of speech. It is realized through word stress and tempo variations. Word stress is achieved through (1) raising pitch, (2) increasing loudness, and (3) lengthening the nuclear vowel.

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