The present Action is a joint initiative of speech processing teams and the European Laryngological Research Group (ELRG). It is widely accepted that synergies between various complementary disciplines are a promising way to efficiently address the complexity of many current problems in research and development. Particularly, progress in the clinical assessment and enhancement of voice quality requires the cooperation of speech processing engineers and voice clinicians.
The main objective of the Action is to improve voice production models and analysis algorithms with a view to assessing voice disorders. New or previously unexploited techniques, such as high speed imaging of the vocal folds and recordings throughout the life span, will be combined with recent theoretical developments in order to improve modelling of normal and abnormal voice production including substitution voices. A deep understanding of the relationship between biomechanical changes at the level of the phonatory structures and the resulting alterations in the acoustical voice signal will lead to (1) better voice production models, (2) more accurate and clinically useful methods of investigation of voice quality, and (3) strategies for preventing occupational voice disorders in professional speakers.