Internship | Characterization of the Vocal Tract
Vocal Tract Impedance measurements
Phonemic speech information is encoded by the time-dependent acoustic response of the vocal tract. In order to define the phonemic positioning of these articulatory organs, X-Ray, magnet resonance imaging (MRI) techniques and ultrasonography are commonly applied. However, some of those procedures are very costly. Alternatively, a direct acoustical approach could be used to rapidly estimate the vocal tract transfer function or even the vocal tract shape based on direct measurements of sound pressure and particle velocity.
The main goal of this project is to design a measuring system to extract information about vocal tract characteristics, such as positioning of articulatory organs or unique phonetic features. A preliminary feasibility study should be carried, including a literature review of the possible applications of this technology. A signal processing framework to extract acoustic transfer functions from sound pressure and particle velocity transducers should be implemented. A prototype demonstrator able to perform vocal tract impedance measurements should be designed and built. Experimental tests are required in order to evaluate the capabilities and limitations of the proposed system. If the work and findings are of a high standard, preparing a publication for an international congress or journal will be encouraged. In summary, the work should include a good description of the current literature on vocal tract measurements, usage of signal processing tools, a design of a demonstrator device and the assessment of experimental results.
The candidate should:
- have good programming skills
- be familiar with signal processing
- have prior knowledge of biomedical applications.