Dr. Martin Rothenberg:
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.