• Louis-Jean BOË, Lucie MÉNARD, Jihène SERKHANE, Peter BIRKHOLZ, Bernd KRÖGER, Pierre BADIN, Guillaume CAPTIER, Mélanie CANAULT & Nicolas KIELWASSER (Grenoble)
    Growth of the vocal instrument: control, modelisation, acoustic potential and their perceptive consequences
    2008, Vol. XIII-2, pp. 59-80

    In order to accurately follow the growth of the vocal tract and the speech articulators and to infer their motor control and acoustic potentialities, it is essential to have anatomic and physiologic data throughout ontogenesis, from gestation to adulthood. The morphogenesis of the vocal tract, which involves the bony structures, their development, and cranio-facial growth during ontogenesis, is far from linear. The new data provided by genetics help interpreting the process of bony growth and thus of vocal tract reshaping from fetus to adult. To predict the consequences of vocal tract growth on the first speech productions (proto-vocalic and proto-consonantal articulations, babbling), anthropomorphic articulatory models are developed based on articulatory data. The articulatory models can generate realistic acoustic stimuli, which enable the testing of hypotheses about adult and newborn perceptuo-motor processes. These articulatory models can provide phylogenetical cues to the debate around the emergence of speech. The study of vocal tract growth therefore constitutes a key experimental paradigm for speech research.