Hypernasal Speech Detection by Acoustic Analysis of Unvoiced Plosive Consonants
AbstractPeople with a defective velopharyngeal mechanism speak with abnormal nasal resonance (hypernasal speech). Voice analysis methods for hypernasality detection commonly use vowels and nasalized vowels. However to obtain a more general assessment of this abnormality it is necessary to analyze stops and fricatives. This study describes a method with high generalization capability for hypernasality detection analyzing unvoiced Spanish stop consonants. The importance of phoneme-by-phoneme analysis is shown, in contrast with whole word parametrization which includes irrelevant segments from the classification point of view. Parameters that correlate the imprints of Velopharyngeal Incompetence (VPI) over voiceless stop consonants were used in the feature estimation stage. Classification was carried out using a Support Vector Machine (SVM), including the Rademacher complexity model with the aim of increasing the generalization capability. Performances of 95.2% and 92.7% were obtained in the processing and verification stages for a repeated cross-validation classifier evaluation.
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