InterSpeech 2021

Modeling the effect of military oxygen masks on speech characteristics
(Oral presentation)

Benjamin Elie (LISN (UMR 9015), France), Jodie Gauvain (Vocapia Research, France), Jean-Luc Gauvain (LISN (UMR 9015), France), Lori Lamel (LISN (UMR 9015), France)
Wearing an oxygen mask changes the speech production of speakers. It indeed modifies the vocal apparatus and perturbs the articulatory movements of the speaker. This paper studies the impact of the oxygen mask of military aircraft pilots on formant trajectories, both dynamically (variations of the formants at a utterance level) and globally (mean value at the utterance level) for 12 speakers. A comparative analysis of speech collected with and without an oxygen mask shows that the mask has a significant impact on the formant trajectories, both on the mean values and on the formant variations at the utterance level. This impact is strongly dependent on the speaker and also on the mask model. These observations suggest that the articulatory movements of the speaker are modified by the presence of the mask. These observations are validated via a preliminary ASR experiment that uses a data augmentation technique based on articulatory perturbations that are driven by our experimental observations.