Language and Linguistics

How do vocal cords work/characteristic/Vocal cord dysphonia

Vocal cords

The vocal cords are part of the speech apparatus . It could be said that they are the “heart” of the speech system, since they are responsible for the vibration produced by the sound that, together with the rest of the speech apparatus, will generate our voice . In  this article we will elaborate you how do vocal cords work?

Despite their name, they are not rope-shaped , they are not ropes. They are folded membranes, called vocal folds.

The  vocal cords  are responsible for us to produce the sound of our voice . Actually calling them vocal cords would be wrong, the anatomical term is  vocal folds . Let’s know how many vocal cords there are and how they work .

Where are the vocal cords?

In the throat yes, rather, it is in the larynx, in the upper part of the trachea. The outer edges are attached to the muscles of the larynx, and the inner edges are free.


They are whitish in color, soft and triangular. There are four vocal cords of two types. Two superiors and two inferiors, the latter are the ones that truly generate the voice.

The more separated are the most vocal cords grave will sound, but the more we are together more acute will be, as the air passes through a smaller hole.

The same with its shape: the shorter and thicker the vocal cords, the lower the voice will be, and the longer and narrower the voice will be higher. Of course, men have short and thick vocal cords, while women have long and thin vocal cords.

How many vocal cords are there?

People have a total of four vocal cords , two true calls and another two known as false . The upper vocal cords are the  vestibular folds and have no function in the production of sounds . The lower vocal cords are – actually – the vocal folds responsible for the production of sounds .

How do the vocal cords work?

The vocal cords are the heart of the human speech system . As responsible for the vibration that sound generates , the vocal cords and their set of functions allow people to have a voice .

Humans have learned to control the vocal cords in order to produce sounds . When the vocal cords vibrate , with the passage of air, the composition and shape of said vibration produces the different sounds that make up the voice .

Through rational use, the purpose of shaping the air that comes out of our larynx so that it becomes sound -as it passes through the vocal cords- is a clear example of human evolution and its phonatory apparatus . People have developed the ability to speak or sing through the modulation and articulation of words made up of sounds and vocal grimaces .

The vocal cords are , in fact, our own sonic instrument and the main responsible for our voice .

Vocal cord dysphonia

Vocal cord dysphonia  is a problem caused by misuse of the voice , often due to lack of skills and  vocal education . Other causes such as infections, or oncological pathologies can lead to the vocal cords being altered and producing what is called vocal cord disorder , better known as  dysphonia or alteration of the voice . The specialist in charge of treating these vocal cord problems is the Otolaryngologist .

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