Speech Assessment: A Tool for Laryngectomee Speech Rehabilitation

Proceedings of The 3rd International Conference on Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts

Year: 2022



Speech Assessment: A Tool for Laryngectomee Speech Rehabilitation

Albert Olivier Blaise Rilliard , Nathália dos Reis, Marco Aurelio Vamondes Kulcsar,Zuleica Camargo



The treatment for advanced head and neck cancer can lead to the surgical removal of the entire larynx, requiring laryngectomized speakers to adapt to a new reality in terms of respiration, swallowing, aesthetic appearance and acceptance, and also for oral communication, given the possibility of producing intelligible speech in such challenging conditions. This study aimed at presenting a new device for alaryngeal speech assessment, as a linguistic tool to support health care activities, in the field of Humanities in Health. Developed as a script that runs in a free software, Praat, Alaryngeal Speech Quality (ASQ) is based on previous studies on the quality of substitute phonation. This first version of the script is the result of a joint effort of a group composed of speech therapists, a computer scientist and a head and neck surgeon. The tool is designed to provide clinicians with a technological device which facilitates the processes of annotating and segmenting audio recordings from patients and extracting a set of acoustic measures that can lead to differentiated outcome conditions in the rehabilitation processes. The script operates based on the analysis of speech samples (sustained vowel and connected speech and singing samples). Extracted acoustic measures are related to the duration and intensity domains. Requirements such as usability and accessibility of the device are discussed, facing the future challenges in improving the tool according to ongoing feedback from clinicians.

keywords: acoustic analysis, alaryngeal voice, laryngeal cancer, linguistics, total laryngectomy.