A radiographic analysis of constriction locations for vowels

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


Vocal tract area functions estimated from 38 sets of X-rayed vowel articulations collected from the literature and from new X-ray motion films of English and Arabic speech reveal four constriction locations: along the hard palate, along the soft palate, in the upper pharynx and in the lower larynx. Each location is appropriate for a definable class of vowel qualities, confirming the quantal nature of at least this aspect of vowel articulation. The acoustical, physiological and phonological implications are discussed. In a given phonotactic environment the precision of the constricting tongue manoeuvre was good. The only truly language specific difference was a preference for either the midpalatal or prepalatal location for palatal constrictions. The tongue muscles are found to be admirably situated for creating constrictions at the four locations.


  • Sidney A J Wood
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPapers in speech communication. Speech production (Reprinted from Journal of Phonetics 7, 1979, p.25-43)
EditorsRaymond D. Kent, Bishnu S. Atal, Joanne L. Miller
PublisherAcoustical Society of America
ISBN (Print)0-88318-958-5
StatePublished - 1991

Publication series


Related research output

Wood, S. A. J. 1979 In : Journal of Phonetics. 7, p. 25-43

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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