Proc. of the First Pan-American/Iberian Meeting on Acoustics, Cancun, 2002
Physical models of the human vocal tract as tools for education in acoustics
T. Arai, E. Maeda, N. Saika and Y. Murahara
Abstract: We recently replicated Chiba and Kajiyama’s physical models of the human vocal tract and found that they are extremely effective as manipulative tools for education in acoustics. This study overviews our previous development of the models and their application for education. The models we developed simulate the configuration of the vocal tract, and are of two major types: cylinder and plate. The interior, bottle shape of the cylindrical models was based on Chiba and Kjiyama’s original measurements. The diameter of the holes in the 10-17 moveable plates of the plate-type model were also based on Chiba and Kajiyama’s measurements, but the radius curves were approximated at 10 mm resolution in a step-wise fashion. We also developed a nasalized model, which consists of a side branch attaching to the cylindrical model. Our experience confirmed that when used in a classroom environment, the models increase student understanding of the acoustic theory of speech production.