Articulatory phonetics

Articulatory phonetics is a branch of phonetics which is largely based on data provided by other sciences, among which the most important are human anatomy and physiology. This is a result of the fact that human beings do not possess organs that are exclusively used to produce speech sounds, all organs involved in the uttering of sounds having in fact, primarily, other functions such as eating, chewing, and swallowing food, and respiration. However, you also need these organs in order to speak, to sing - to produce sounds in general, and this is why those parts of the body below are said to be part of the so called vocal tract.

Source of the picture:

Have a good look at the picture on the left hand side and try to step inside your own body to figure out the positions of the several speech organs. This might also help you to find the German translation of more unfamiliar terms such as pharynx and larynx.

You can also check out this link: the principal organs of articulation where you will get a first impression of the connection between the respective speech organs and certain sounds. Another, clickable graphic for further illustration of the articulatory anatomy can be found on the following site: phonetics.

Please make sure you know the names of all the organs and parts of organs and their function in the production of speech by the end of your surfing on the pages mentioned above.

If you still want to read more about the ways in which humans actually produce speech sounds, click on the "read more" button below to take up a journey along the human vocal tract.

You can also move on to check your knowledge on articulatory phonetics in a little quiz.

If you are done with articulatory phonetics, please move on to the rubric auditory phonetics, now.