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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

An Expanded Taxonomy of States of the Glottis

John H. Esling, Jimmy G. Harris

University of Victoria, Canada

Direct visual evidence from laryngoscopic observations suggests that the traditional classification of states of the glottis needs to be revised. We show that the sound-generating role of the epilaryngeal tube - comprising the ventricular folds, aryepiglottic folds and laryngeal sphincter mechanism - adds a vertical dimension to the 'source' signal and contributes to phonation type, necessitating an expanded set of categories. We find that the traditional model of glottal closing and opening inadequately explains many of the contrastive features resulting from the full variety of sound-producing capabilities in the larynx and pharynx. We propose to expand the basic states of the glottis to include: breath, modal voice, whisper, unphonated (glottal stop, epiglottal stop), prephonation, falsetto, whispery voice, breathy voice, creaky voice, harsh voice, and ventricular voice. Adding new components to the taxonomy will allow us to relate changes in larynx height to glottal activity more accurately. All categories are documented with images of cardinal values and of native-speaker language examples.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Esling, John H. / Harris, Jimmy G. (2003): "An expanded taxonomy of states of the glottis", In ICPhS-15, 1049-1052.