MAURER, D., GRÖNE, B., LANDIS, T., HOCH, G. & SCHÖNLE, P.W. (1993): Reexamination of the relation between the vocal tract and the vowel sound with EMA in vocalizations. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 7, 129-143.


In vowel production theory the vowel sound is related directly to defined positions of the articulators. A re-examination of tongue, lips and jaw positions with the dynamic method of electromagnetic articulography (EMA) was carried out on German vowels in spontaneous speech and in isolated and sustained vocalizations at different levels of F0. It was found that: (i) one vowel sound can be represented by two very different positions of the articulators, and (ii) two vowel sounds of different vowel identities can be represented by similar positions. Examples of our results are presented, and the implications for the articulatory process, as well as for diagnosis and treatment of patients with speech motor disorders, are discussed.

Keywords: vocal tract, formant, articulation, electromagnetic articulography (EMA)


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