Biomechanical saturation and hearing status effects in determining goals for vowels:

Preliminary results from a bite block study

By J.C. Vick, J.S. Perkell, H. Lane, M. Matthies, M. Zandipour,

M. Tiede, E. Stockmann, and F. Guenther


            Preliminary results will be presented from a study exploring adaptation to a bite block in vowel productions of normal hearing adults (NH) as well as adults who use cochlear implants (CI).  CI speakers will be tested both prior to and following experience with a CI.  In this experiment, we are using different sized bite blocks to create unusual degrees of mandibular opening for sustained productions of the vowels /i/, /a/, /E/, and /I/.  There will be four conditions elicited from each NH and CI speaker:

1.)    No bite block with hearing (CI processor on).

2.)    No bite block with no hearing (NH speakers with masking noise and CI speakers with processor off.).

3.)    Bite block with no hearing.

4.)    Bite block with hearing.


Prior to CI processor fitting, CI speakers will be tested without hearing in two conditions (Pre):

1.)    No bite block.

2.)    Bite block.

We will analyze the spectra of the vowel productions for the following: (1) central tendency of vowel productions in the F1 x F2 plane; (2) dispersion of those tokens; (3) distances between vowel types; (4) differences in dispersion caused by the bite block for vowels with biomechanical saturation compared to vowels without saturation effects.