Proc. of the European Conf. on Speech Communication and Technology (Eurospeech), Vol. 4, pp. 2791-2794, Aalborg, 2001

Prototype of a vocal-tract model for vowel production designed for education in speech science

T. Arai, N. Usuki and Y. Murahara

Abstract: We present a manipulative tool for use in education in speech science. The tool consists of several, square, plastic disks each of which has holes of various diameters. Combined, the holes in 10-17 disks simulate the vocal tract by creating an acoustic tube. Students may study the effect the shape of an acoustic tube has on acoustic output by reordering the dinks. After demonstrating the disks in an actual classroom, results show that the tool helped students grasp the relationship between vocal tract configuration and acoustic output. This suggests that students are better able to understand abstractions regarding the acoustics of speech if they have access to a 3-dimensional model such as ours.

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