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January 1940


Author Affiliations

Medical Director, National Hospital for Speech Disorders NEW YORK

Arch Otolaryngol. 1940;31(1):1-6. doi:10.1001/archotol.1940.00660010002001

I have often wondered how many laryngologists realize the value of alterations in the voice as a preliminary diagnostic aid in conditions of the throat—how many, in making a diagnosis, use their auditory as well as their visual sense. I believe that the laryngologist—if he possesses a trained ear—should be well on the road to a diagnosis as soon as he hears his patient speak, because I have found that just as there are characteristic physical alterations peculiar to certain pathologic conditions of the larynx, there are also characteristic vocal alterations.

Before developing this thesis, I wish to recall some of the basic facts of voice and speech production. Voice, as distinguished from speech, is simply the production of sound through the medium of expired air. A normal voice has certain definite characteristics: a pitch appropriate to age and sex, adequate volume, tonal clarity, resonance, rhythm and a direct attack.

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