The Quantal Larynx: The Stable Regions of Laryngeal Biomechanics and Implications for Speech Production Purpose Recent proposals suggest that (a) the high dimensionality of speech motor control may be reduced via modular neuromuscular organization that takes advantage of intrinsic biomechanical regions of stability and (b) computational modeling provides a means to study whether and how such modularization works. In this study, the focus is ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 2017
The Quantal Larynx: The Stable Regions of Laryngeal Biomechanics and Implications for Speech Production
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Scott Reid Moisik
    Division of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
    The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
  • Bryan Gick
    Department of Linguistics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
    Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, CT
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Scott Reid Moisik: scott.moisik@ntu.edu.sg
  • Editor: Julie Liss
    Editor: Julie Liss×
  • Associate Editor: Nelson Roy
    Associate Editor: Nelson Roy×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 2017
The Quantal Larynx: The Stable Regions of Laryngeal Biomechanics and Implications for Speech Production
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 2017, Vol. 60, 540-560. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-16-0019
History: Received January 14, 2016 , Revised July 18, 2016 , Accepted August 28, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 2017, Vol. 60, 540-560. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-16-0019
History: Received January 14, 2016; Revised July 18, 2016; Accepted August 28, 2016

Purpose Recent proposals suggest that (a) the high dimensionality of speech motor control may be reduced via modular neuromuscular organization that takes advantage of intrinsic biomechanical regions of stability and (b) computational modeling provides a means to study whether and how such modularization works. In this study, the focus is on the larynx, a structure that is fundamental to speech production because of its role in phonation and numerous articulatory functions.

Method A 3-dimensional model of the larynx was created using the ArtiSynth platform (http://www.artisynth.org). This model was used to simulate laryngeal articulatory states, including inspiration, glottal fricative, modal prephonation, plain glottal stop, vocal–ventricular stop, and aryepiglotto–epiglottal stop and fricative.

Results Speech-relevant laryngeal biomechanics is rich with “quantal” or highly stable regions within muscle activation space.

Conclusions Quantal laryngeal biomechanics complement a modular view of speech control and have implications for the articulatory–biomechanical grounding of numerous phonetic and phonological phenomena.

Acknowledgments
We gratefully acknowledge the funding support of an Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grant to the second author. We acknowledge John Esling for generously giving us permission to use the States of the Glottis videos and for his conceptual and experimental contributions to the field that have made this research possible. We also offer our thanks to Sid Fels, Ling Tsou, Ian Stavness, Peter Anderson, and John Lloyd for their support with ArtiSynth and in conducting this research.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access