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dc.contributor.authorJanssen, Ricken_US
dc.contributor.authorMoisik, Scott Reiden_US
dc.contributor.authorDediu, Danen_US
dc.identifier.citationJanssen, R., Moisik, S. R. & Dediu, D. (2019). The effects of larynx height on vowel production are mitigated by the active control of articulators. Journal of Phonetics, 74, 1-17.
dc.description.abstractThe influence of larynx position on vowel articulation is an important topic in understanding speech production, the present-day distribution of linguistic diversity and the evolution of speech and language in our lineage. We introduce here a realistic computer model of the vocal tract, constructed from actual human MRI data, which can learn, using machine learning techniques, to control the articulators in such a way as to produce speech sounds matching as closely as possible to a given set of target vowels. We systematically control the vertical position of the larynx and we quantify the differences between the target and produced vowels for each such position across multiple replications. We report that, indeed, larynx height does affect the accuracy of reproducing the target vowels and the distinctness of the produced vowel system, that there is a “sweet spot” of larynx positions that are optimal for vowel production, but that nevertheless, even extreme larynx positions do not result in a collapsed or heavily distorted vowel space that would make speech unintelligible. Together with other lines of evidence, our results support the view that the vowel space of human languages is influenced by our larynx position, but that other positions of the larynx may also be fully compatible with speech.en_US
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of Phoneticsen_US
dc.rights2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.en_US
dc.titleThe effects of larynx height on vowel production are mitigated by the active control of articulatorsen_US
dc.typeJournal Articleen
dc.contributor.schoolSchool of Humanitiesen_US
dc.subject.keywordsLarynx Heighten_US
dc.subject.keywordsVowel Articulationen_US
dc.description.acknowledgementThis work was Funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) VIDI grant 276-70-022 to DD. During the writing of this paper, DD was supported by an European Institutes for Advanced Study (EURIAS) Fellowship (2017–2018) and an IDEXLyon Fellowship, Université de Lyon (2018–2021).en_US
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