Previous work has shown that the lips are moving at a high velocity when the oral closure occurs for bilabial stop consonants, resulting in tissue compression and mechanical interactions between the lips. The present experiment recorded tongue movements in four subjects during the production of velar and alveolar stop consonants to examine kinematic events before, during, and after the stop closure. The results show that, similar to the lips, the tongue is often moving at a high velocity at the onset of closure. The tongue movements were more complex, with both horizontal and vertical components. Movement velocity at closure and release were influenced by both the preceding and the following vowel. During the period of oral closure, the tongue moved through a trajectory of usually less than I cm; again, the magnitude of the movement was context dependent. Overall, the tongue moved in forward-backward curved paths. The results are compatible with the idea that the tongue is free to move during the closure as long as an airtight seal is maintained. A new interpretation of the curved movement paths of the tongue in speech is also proposed. This interpretation is based on the principle of cost minimization that has been successfully applied in the study of hand movements in reaching.
- Övrig annan medicin och hälsovetenskap