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Speaker-Specific Articulatory Assessment and Measurements during Portuguese Speech Production Based on Magnetic Resonance Images (pp.117-138) $100.00
Authors:  (Sandra M. Rua Ventura, Maria Joćo M. Vasconcelos, Diamantino Rui S. Freitas, Isabel Maria A. P. Ramos, Joćo Manuel R. S. Tavares, Radiology Department, School of Allied Health Science – IPP / Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Portugal, and others)
Abstract:
The development of two and three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
opened new options for a better understanding of speech production; in particular, for the
articulation process, comparing with other imaging techniques, such as x-rays. Several
MRI studies have been carried out considering different languages, but concerning
European Portuguese the available information is far from being completely achieved.
Recently, the knowledge gained with the application of deformable models in magnetic
resonance images towards the automatic study of the vocal tract, has allowed an
enhanced identification and description of the articulatory mechanism and its organs. Our
aim is to extract and evaluate the main characteristics of the movements of vocal tract
during European Portuguese speech production to achieve speaker-specific articulatory
assessment from MRI. For this, we used active shape and active appearance models to
identify, i.e. to segment, and simulate the vocal tract’s shape in MR images and
concluded that both are suitable for such tasks being the later more proficient. The
findings obtained are believed to be useful for speech rehabilitation and simulation
purposes, namely to recognize and simulate the compensatory movements of the
articulators during speech production.
Therefore, this chapter gains particular interest within the communities of speech
study and rehabilitation, medical imaging and bioengineering. It is organized as follows:
the introduction section starts with a literature review concerning the use, application and
challenges of MRI in speech production study, in particular for speech articulation. In
addition, image analysis techniques based on deformable templates, more specifically by
using geometrical shapes driven by parameterized functions, are introduced. In the
second section, the adopted methodology of MRI acquisition and data assessment are
described. Based on this image analysis approach, in the results section the key aspects of
articulatory movements during the production of relevant European Portuguese speech
sounds are addressed. In the final section of this chapter, conclusions are presented and
further suggestions for future work are indicated. 


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Speaker-Specific Articulatory Assessment and Measurements during Portuguese Speech Production Based on Magnetic Resonance Images (pp.117-138)