Understanding speech production: The PILIOS approach
2008, Vol. XIII-2, pp. 35-44
Understanding and modeling biological and physical mechanisms underlying speech production helps understanding speech motor control and its link to linguistic structure. Two of our recent studies are presented to illustrate this methodological idea. In the first study a realistic biomechanical tongue model is used to explore comprehensively the possible tongue shapes in the mid-sagittal plane. It is shown that the main directions of the tongue deformation observed in different languages are not related to any specific control, but rather to biomechanical and anatomical facts. The second study addresses the ‘trough effect’ observed in tongue shapes for bilabial consonants in VCV sequences. It is suggested that the combined analysis of kinematic and electromyographic data allows questioning previous interpretations of the trough effect with respect to speech motor control.