Mechanism of voice production/joint/lip/coronal/dorsal

Speech/Voice Production Mechanism

It is very necessary to understand the speech production mechanism while studying the Phonetics.The voice is and has been, throughout history, a fundamental communication tool in human beings. Mechanism of voice production

Today, the voice gets added value. Today’s society has countless competitive professionals that require communication skills to impact their work environment. The permanent use of the voice, the risk factors in each one of the contexts and the performance of inappropriate vocal behaviors can cause imbalances in the vocal function, increasing the levels of incidence and prevalence of structural and functional alterations.

The voice organ includes the lungs, larynx and mouth. The voice production is produced by the contraction of the chest muscles, the air is expelled from the lungs, which generates an excess of pressure, giving rise to an air current, and can be considered as an energy carrier that was modulated in its speed and therefore in pressure, for the production of sounds, vowels and consonants. This air current passes through the glottis, located at the base of the larynx, being the first modulating element, forming a membrane near the larynx, which, when opened and closed, modulates the current of air passing through it.

This sound instrument is determined by the positions of the lips, jaw, tongue and larynx. The movements of these elements close or dilate the vocal apparatus according to the positions, which allows a large number of vocal sounds to be produced. Mechanism of voice production

The voice can originate with the intervention of other different organs for example with the belly.

This work aims to raise awareness of important aspects of the mechanisms of voice and speech production.


The basic process of voice production is the same for speaking and singing. The brain sends signals through the central nervous system to the muscles of the larynx, neck and thorax accompanied by a flow of air through the phonatory tract finally obtaining the voice.

The ability to speak requires different skills, first, the person must have something to talk about, for example, they can talk about something that is happening now or something that has already happened, in the first case they are talking about perceptions and in the second Case talks about memories. Both the perceptions and the past events involve the participation of the cerebral mechanisms of the posterior part of the cerebral hemispheres (the occipital, parietal and temporal lobes). Mechanism of voice production

For the perceptions, memories and procedures to become speech, the participation of nerve mechanisms located in the frontal lobes is required.

The mechanism of speech production, briefly summarized is as follows:

The diaphragm pushes the lungs, causing air to be expelled.

The air circulates through the trachea and larynx, passing through the vocal cords and causing them to vibrate with a fundamental tone.

The fundamental tone produced by the vocal cords passes, through the larynx, to the resonance box formed by the nasal and oral cavities.

Some frequencies resonate in the nasal and oral cavities outward as the most important speech information.

The fundamental principle in the production of the voice is the vibration of the vocal cords, due to a coupling and modulation of the air flow that passes through them generating their movement.

The efficiency in the transformation of energy is given by the tension and the glottic configuration. Speaking would be defined as the result of the sound generated in the larynx and modified by the resonance of the supraglottic structures. Mechanism of voice production


When the announcer emits an oral message, he proceeds to a series of operations in which he puts into play all the linguistic levels. This then produces a series of orders that, from the central nervous system to the muscles, via the peripheral nervous system, will allow piloting the evolution of the vocal duct.

Simplifying it could be said that the word is the result of the excitation of supraglottic cavities (nasal or oral) by one or two acoustic sources.

The first, essential, generates an output wave, is the laryngeal source; It can be considered quasi-periodic.

The second one can be added or replaced with the first one, this time it is about explosion or friction noises that can be born inside the vocal duct (from the glottis to the lips)

These sources will excite the vocal duct, but the arrangement depends on the joint.

The actors of this “staging” are the articulators. An articulator is a set that is comfortable to present as an anatomical structure, but also functional. In the descriptive part, muscles are an important part, since they are the ones that ensure the start-up and movements in the phonation phase. Approximately twenty muscles, acting in a coordinated manner, are involved in the implementation of an articulating organ.

The articulation is normally produced by the approach or contact between a fixed and a mobile articulator. Depending on the area where this contact takes place, the following classification of sounds is established according to the point of articulation: Mechanism of voice production

2-Lip Mechanism of voice production

bilabial, upper lip and lower lip.

labiovelar, biarticular consonant in the veil and the lower and upper lips.

labioalveolar, biarticular consonant in the alveoli and the lower and upper lips.

labiodental, lower lip and upper incisors.


dental, apex or dorsum of the tongue and the back of the upper incisors.

interdental, apex of the tongue located between the lower and upper incisors.

retroflex, elevation of the apex of the tongue towards the back of the alveoli.

alveolar, anterior part of the tongue and alveoli. Mechanism of voice production


palatal, anterior part of the back of the tongue and hard palate.

velar, back of the tongue and veil of the palate.

uvular, back of the tongue and uvula.


pharyngeal, root of the tongue and pharyngeal wall.

Glottal, closure of the glottis.

The points of articulation (active and passive)

  1. Exolabial
  2. Endolabial
  3. Dental
  4. Alveolar
  5. Postalveolar
  6. Prepalatal
  7. Palatal
  8. Watch
  9. Uvular
  10. Faringal
  11. Glottal
  12. Epiglotal
  13. Radical
  14. Postdorsal
  15. Predorsal
  16. Laminar
  17. Apical
  18. Subapical.

The articulation is the modification of the sound that comes out of the vocal cords by changing the shape of the box through which it will pass. This box is F-shaped and is formed by the pharynx, the oral cavity and the nasal cavity.

Articulation is the final phase in voice production. This stage involves changing the shape and dimension of the oral cavity of the mouth, which produces sounds when speaking or singing. The correct pronunciation of the syllables, formed by consonants and vowels, automatically makes these changes. Teachers generally use syllables to get students to form correct mouth positions before moving on to placement details, such as consciously moving the jaw up and down, raising and lowering the tongue or moving the corners of the lips away and towards the center of the mouth to produce the desired results.

When the sensitivomotor mechanisms of the joint are altered, the classically known disorder with the designation of phonetic disintegration syndrome occurs. In this syndrome there are a series of distortions of the phonemes that vaguely seem to reproduce the deformations of children’s language, and hence the phonetic disintegration rating assigned to these joint disorders. From a neurological point of view, the etiopathogenic basis consists of the varied combination of paralytic, dystonic and apraxic disorders, intermingled and combined in a variable way, and that in this way interfere with the correct production of language sounds. As a consequence, the phonetic quality of the sounds emitted is altered by a disorganization of the articulatory motor harmony, Mechanism of voice production

In general, we could say that the sounds tend to be emitted in conditions of a more elementary motility, so that all kinds of deformations (elisions, assimilations, substitutions, metathesis, ephesis) can be combined in a motley way. The articulation or sound production exercises include the correct pronunciation of sounds and syllables by the therapist usually during play activities. The therapist will physically demonstrate to the child how to emit certain sounds such as the “r” sound and how to move the tongue to produce certain sounds. Mechanism of voice production

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