Chiu, W.S.C., Shadle, C.H. and Carter, J.N.
Quantitative measures of the palate using enhanced electropalatography
European J. Disordered Communication, 30, .
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Electropalatography (EPG) is a useful tool for investigating tongue dynamics in experimental phonetic research and speech therapy. However, data provided by EPG are a two-dimensional representation in which all absolute positional information is lost. This paper presents an enhanced EPG (eEPG) system which uses digitised palate shape data to display the tongue-palate contact pattern in three dimensions. The palate shapes are obtained using a colour-encoded structured light three-dimensional digitisation system. The three-dimensional palate shape is displayed on a Silicon Graphics workstation as a surface made up of polygons represented on a quadrilateral mesh. EPG contact patterns are superimposed on to the three-dimensional palate shape by displaying the relevant polygons in a different colour. By using this system, differences in shape between individual palates, apparent on visual inspection of the actual palates, are also apparent in the image on screen. Further, methods have been devised for computing absolute distances along paths lying on the palate surface. Combining this with calibrated palate shape data allows accurate measurements to be made between contact locations on the palate. These have been validated with manual measurements. In addition, vocal tract areas in the oral cavity have been estimated by using the absolute measurements on the palate for a given contact pattern, and assuming a flat tongue profile in the uncontacted area.
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