15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

From the Bony Structure of the Head to Soft Tissues of the Vocal Tract

Louis-Jean Boë (1), Denis Autesserre (2), Laurent Cavazzana (3), Jean-Louis Heim (4), Fleur Letellier-Willemin (5)

(1) ICP-CNRS, France
(2) LPL-CNRS, France
(3) ENSIMAG, France
(4) Musee de l'Homme, France
(5) Polyclinique de l'Essonne, France

This work is part of a project aiming at defining possible speech prerequisites in the geometry, the musculature and the control of the vocal tract. In this paper we intend to reconstruct anatomical and geometrical landmarks of the vocal tract from the bony structure of modern man. Thereafter, we will try to extrapolate our procedure to fossilized skull and mandible. We constituted a head and neck xeroradiographic database for 10 speakers. Using bony references and positional angles we intend to predict two dimensions: palatal distance and larynx height. These dimensions can be used to quantify growth differences (from birth to adulthood) and gender differences, as well as differences between species. They are important in that they lead to the prediction of maximal acoustic space of the vocal tract. Then we evaluated the range of accuracy of these predictions. This work has been carried out by a multidisciplinary team comprised of specialists in radiology, anthropology, informatics and speech.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Boë, Louis-Jean / Autesserre, Denis / Cavazzana, Laurent / Heim, Jean-Louis / Letellier-Willemin, Fleur (2003): "From the bony structure of the head to soft tissues of the vocal tract", In ICPhS-15, 1045-1048.