Dr. Martin Rothenberg:

Biographical Sketch

Additional Bio Material for Dr. Martin Rothenberg

The Speech Research Laboratory, directed by Dr. Rothenberg, specialized in research on the human voice and in the development of non-invasive techniques for the measurement of vocal function during speech and singing. Glottal Enterprises was formed in 1981 in order to supply to other laboratories the equipment developed at the Syracuse laboratory.

From 1986 to 1991, the Speech Research Laboratory also included an interdisciplinary research team studying the use of computer-based multimedia instruction in language learning, including spoken languages and signed languages. Syracuse Language Systems (SLS) was formed by members of that research team in 1991, and, with Dr. Rothenberg as President and CEO, produced a series of award-winning CD-ROM titles for spoken language instruction.

In 1998, SLS was sold to the Cendant Corporation, and Dr. Rothenberg redirected his energies to the development of techniques for the measurement of vocal function, with the goal of producing effective computer-based measurement tools that were sufficiently economical for home use in voice and speech training regimes, to be marketed by Glottal Enterprises.

In 2014, Glottal Enterprises began to use the principles for teaching language skills developed in the Speech Research Laboratory in the period from 1986 to 1991 to develop ‘apps’ for a tablet computer and a smart phone that teaches sign language skills in an immersion, interactive game format.  A prototype app is expected to be available by the end of September, 2014.


Dr. Rothenberg was a NDEA Title IV Fellow during his graduate studies at the University of Michigan, from 1960 to 1964, in a then new program in Communication Sciences, which combined the study natural human language with the study of computer languages.

He was a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow in Sweden in 1980, studying the voice and speech patterns of children.

In 1993 he received the Fifth Annual Quintana Voice Research Award of Achievement, awarded by The Voice Foundation.

Dr. Rothenberg is the author of numerous papers related to the use of the human voice in speech and singing, and he holds five patents for speech-related measurement and training devices and systems.

Glottal Enterprises

What does Glottal Enterprises do?  Glottal Enterprises, in Syracuse, New York, develops unique, innovative products that are largely based on the research performed at the SU Speech Research Lab, develops and tests commercial versions of these products, manufactures them with the help of local subcontractors, and markets these products internationally.

What proprietary technology does Glottal Enterprises employ?
1. The circumferentially vented pneumotachograph mask (also referred to in the literature as the CV mask or the Rothenberg Mask) was developed in the Speech Research Laboratory at SU to enable the measurement of airflow in speech or singing without the significant muffling and distortion of the speech that is caused by using a mask designed to monitor respiratory function.  The CV mask is not patented, but is currently available only from Glottal Enterprises.  The current version of this mask has two chambers to enable the separate measurement of oral and nasal airflow.

2. The patented dual channel electroglottograph measures the pattern of contact between the vibration vocal folds (vocal cords) during speech or singing.

3.  The PG series of air pressure measurement devices (patent pending) enable the real-time recording and display of the air pressure in the lungs during speech or singing.  Until the advent of the PG, the air pressure in the lungs, which is the primary energy source for speech and singing, could only be recorded during speech by means of a hypodermic syringe inserted into the trachea below the larynx (a “tracheal puncture”).

4 Programs for teaching American Sign Language using a tablet computer or a smart phone. (Apps) will be protected by copyright law, as are the various Glottal Enterprises software products for measuring the voice.

Customers for Glottal Enterprises include voice research labs, singing researchers and linguistics research labs.  Products measuring and displaying nasal airflow are of special interest to speech pathologists treating speech problems related to cleft palate and hearing impairment, as well as singing researchers and linguists. Our PG product is of interest to voice users who are in danger of vocal abuse, and those who have an unacceptably low speech volume.

Customers for SLS were primarily individuals seeking to learn a new language.  Customers for the sign language apps will include deaf children being taught signing, and their friends, family, neighbors and schools.

Glottal Enterprises now has 8 employees (2014), including 3 SU grads (one from electrical and computer engineering and two from bioengineering), and four interns from SU.  Over the past 10 years, there have been approximately 10 other interns who have moved on.

Relevant Personal History for Dr. Rothenberg

After working for 2 years in TV and radio repair after graduating from Brooklyn Technical High School, Dr. Rothenberg served in the US Army, 1953-1955, including 14 months in Korea in the Signal Corps, 304th Signal Battalion.  He was stationed at the peak of Mount Seorak (Seoraksan), and near the cities of Inje and Chunchon, and in Seoul.  It was in Korea that his interest in language and language learning began.  http://www.kwvdm.org/detail_oral.php?no=24

After receiving a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1959, under the GI Bill, he decided to move in the direction of applying his mathematics and engineering skills to the study of human language.  The graduate program in Communication Sciences at the U of M was a perfect fit.  He was also awarded a Masters Degree in Mathematics.

Dr. Rothenberg’s interest in using multimedia technology to learn spoken languages comes from his opinion that the people of the world should all be at least bilingual, and that technology can make that goal easier to attain.  He himself has studied Swedish, German, Russian, and Spanish.  

Dr. Rothenberg’s interest in sign language came from a Syracuse neighbor giving birth to a deaf child.  He saw that Tony could not communicate with the other children in the neighborhood, including his own children, and thought that it would be highly advantageous for all the neighborhood children (and adults) to have some proficiency in a common manual language.

In 1998, Dr. Rothenberg was invited to the White House to join President Bill Clinton at the president’s vetoing of a repeal of the Estate Tax.  In his introduction of the president, Dr. Rothenberg emphasized the need for financially successful citizens to help the next generation obtain the tools they will need to succeed.  He mentioned his own origins in a working class immigrant family and the support from society that he enjoyed.

Dr. Rothenberg’s three children all had their undergraduate years at Syracuse University.  The oldest studied biochemistry and went on to obtain a law degree at Georgetown. The second oldest obtained a degree in electrical engineering, and is presently Vice President for Sales an Marketing at Glottal Enterprises.  His youngest child went on to obtain a PhD from MIT and is a faculty member at RIT in Rochester.


Papers online
Glottal Enterprises