Ultrax: An Animated Midsagittal Vocal Tract Display for Speech Therapy

K. Richmond, S. Renals

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Speech sound disorders (SSD) are the most common communication impairment in childhood, and can hamper social development and learning. Current speech therapy interventions rely predominantly on the auditory skills of the child, as little technology is available to assist in diagnosis and therapy of SSDs. Realtime visualisation of tongue movements has the potential to bring enormous benefit to speech therapy. Ultrasound scanning offers this possibility, although its display may be hard to interpret. Our ultimate goal is to exploit ultrasound to track tongue movement, while displaying a simplified, diagrammatic vocal tract that is easier for the user to interpret. In this paper, we outline a general approach to this problem, combining a latent space model with a dimensionality reducing model of vocal tract shapes. We assess the feasibility of this approach using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to train a model of vocal tract shapes, which is animated using electromagnetic articulography (EMA) data from the same speaker.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationINTERSPEECH 2012
Subtitle of host publication13th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association
PublisherInternational Speech Communication Association
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012


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