Send to

Choose Destination
J Acoust Soc Am. 2003 Sep;114(3):1582-99.

Influences of tongue biomechanics on speech movements during the production of velar stop consonants: a modeling study.

Author information

Institut de la Communication Parlée, UMR CNRS 5009, INPG, Grenoble, France.


This study explores the following hypothesis: forward looping movements of the tongue that are observed in VCV sequences are due partly to the anatomical arrangement of the tongue muscles, how they are used to produce a velar closure, and how the tongue interacts with the palate during consonantal closure. The study uses an anatomically based two-dimensional biomechanical tongue model. Tissue elastic properties are accounted for in finite-element modeling, and movement is controlled by constant-rate control parameter shifts. Tongue raising and lowering movements are produced by the model mainly with the combined actions of the genioglossus, styloglossus, and hyoglossus. Simulations of V1CV2 movements were made, where C is a velar consonant and V is [a], [i], or [u]. Both vowels and consonants are specified in terms of targets, but for the consonant the target is virtual, and cannot be reached because it is beyond the surface of the palate. If V1 is the vowel [a] or [u], the resulting trajectory describes a movement that begins to loop forward before consonant closure and continues to slide along the palate during the closure. This pattern is very stable when moderate changes are made to the specification of the target consonant location and agrees with data published in the literature. If V1 is the vowel [i], looping patterns are also observed, but their orientation was quite sensitive to small changes in the location of the consonant target. These findings also agree with patterns of variability observed in measurements from human speakers, but they contradict data published by Houde [Ph.D. dissertation (1967)]. These observations support the idea that the biomechanical properties of the tongue could be the main factor responsible for the forward loops when V1 is a back vowel, regardless of whether V2 is a back vowel or a front vowel. In the [i] context it seems that additional factors have to be taken into consideration in order to explain the observations made on some speakers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Institute of Physics
Loading ...
Support Center