Compressible flow simulations of voiced speech using rigid vocal tract geometries acquired by MRI

Authors: Schickhofer, L., Malinen, J., Mihaescu, M
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume: 145  
Year: 2019


Voiced speech consists mainly of the source signal that is frequency weighted by the acoustic filtering of the upper airways and vortex-induced sound through perturbation in the flow field. This study investigates the flow instabilities leading to vortex shedding and the importance of coherent structures in the supraglottal region downstream of the vocal folds for the far-field sound signal. Large eddy simulations of the compressible airflow through the glottal constriction are performed in realistic geometries obtained from three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging data. Intermittent flow separation through the glottis is shown to introduce unsteady surface pressure through impingement of vortices. Additionally, dominant flow instabilities develop in the shear layer associated with the glottal jet. The aerodynamic perturbations in the near field and the acoustic signal in the far field are examined by means of spatial and temporal Fourier analysis. Furthermore, the acoustic sources due to the unsteady supraglottal flow are identified with the aid of surface spectra, and critical regions of amplification of the dominant frequencies of the investigated vowel geometries are identified.