Theoretical assessment of unsteady aerodynamic effects in phonation

Michael H. Krane, Timothy Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This paper ranks the importance of unsteady aerodynamic mechanisms in glottal flow. Particular emphasis is given to separation point motion, acceleration of glottal airflow by vocal fold motion, and viscous blockage. How nondimensional parameters such as the Reynolds, Strouhal, and Womersley numbers help in this ranking is also addressed. An equation of motion is derived which includes terms explicitly describing the effects of interest, assuming (1) a symmetrical glottis, (2) zero pressure recovery downstream of the vocal folds, and (3) a quasisteady glottal jet. Estimating the order of magnitude of the terms in this equation, it is shown that the flow is characterized by two temporal regimes: (1) a flow initiation/shutoff regime where local unsteady acceleration and wall motion dominate, and (2) a "quasisteady" regime where the flow is dominated by convective acceleration. In the latter case, separation point motion and viscous blockage are shown to be out of phase with motion of the vocal folds, thereby impacting the shape of the glottal volume flow waveform. The analysis suggests that glottal flow may be considered quasisteady only insofar as traditional assumptions concerning glottal jet behavior can be confirmed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1578-1588
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


Dive into the research topics of 'Theoretical assessment of unsteady aerodynamic effects in phonation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this