Objective: To improve the speech quality of laryngectomized speakers of Mandarin, we designed an electrolarynx with tonal control function (tone-EL) by using the movement of a trackball. The performance of the tone-EL in producing Mandarin was evaluated. Methods: The performance of tone-EL was evaluated via a listening experiment. The perceptual accuracies of monosyllabic words, different categories of phrases with different cues were measured and compared with that produced with a conventional EL. The acceptability of sentences was also measured. Results: The perceptual accuracies of monosyllabic words and tones associated with the words produced with the tone-EL were significantly higher than those of monotonic EL speech. The perceptual accuracy of phrases was significantly higher than in monotonic EL speech when no categorical cue for listeners was provided, whereas they were at a close level when categorical information of the phrases was provided in advance. The acceptability of sentences was higher than that of monotonic EL speech. Conclusion: Using the tone-EL can produce Mandarin tones effectively and the quality of rehabilitated Mandarin is better than using a conventional-EL. To balance speech intelligibility and ease of use, a strategy -producing tonal speech when few informative cues are available to listeners is preferred.

Barney HL, Haworth FE, Dunn HK: An experimental transistorized artificial larynx. Bell Syst Tech J 1969;38:1337-1356.
Lauder E: The laryngectomee and the artificial larynx - a second look. J Speech Hear Disord 1970;35:62-65.
Rothman HB: Acoustic analysis of artificial electronic larynx speech; in Seikey A (ed): Electroacoustics Analysis and Enhancement of Alaryngeal Speech. Springfield, Thomas, 1982, pp 95-118.
Liu H, Ng ML: Electrolarynx in voice rehabilitation. Auris Nasus Larynx 2007;34:327-332.
Takahashi H, Nakao M, Okuas T, Hatamura Y, Kikuchi Y, Kaga K: A voice-generation system using an intra-mouth vibrator. J Artif Organs 2001;4:288-294.
Takahashi H, Nakao M, Kikuchi Y, Kaga K: Alaryngeal speech aid using an intra-oral electrolarynx and a miniature fingertip switch. Auris Nasus Larynx 2005;32:157-162.
Uemi N, Ifukube T, Takahashi M, Matsushima J: Design of a new electrolarynx having a pitch control function. Proc IEEE Int Workshop on Robot and Human Commun 1994, pp 198-203.
Goldstein EA, Heaton JT, Kobler JB, Stanley GB, Hillman RE: Design and implementation of a hands-free electrolarynx device controlled by neck strap muscle electromyographic activity. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 2004;51:325-332.
Goldstein EA, Heaton JT, Stepp CE, Hillman RE: Training effects on speech production using a hands-free electromyographically controlled electrolarynx. J Speech Hear Res 2007;50:335-351.
Yiu EM, Hasselt CA, Williams SR, Woo JKS: Speech intelligibility in tone language (Chinese) laryngectomy speakers. Eur J Disord Commun 1994;29:339-347.
Liu H, Wan M, Ng ML, Wang S, Lu C: Tonal perceptions in normal laryngeal, esophageal, and electrolaryngeal speech of Mandarin. Folia Phoniatr Logop 2006;58:340-352.
Liu H, Wan M, Wang S, Niu H: Aerodynamic characteristics of laryngectomees breathing quietly and speaking with the Electrolarynx. J Voice 2004;18:567-577.
Zhang J, Qi S, Song M, Liu Q: On the important role of Chinese tones in speech intelligibility. Chin J Acoust 1981;3:278-283.
Moore CB, Jongman A: Speaker normalization in the perception of Mandarin Chinese tones. J Acoust Soc Am 1997;102:1864-1877.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.