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brane. They are connected with the walls of the larynx, so that the air passing from the lungs must go between them. The edges of these vocal cords come together in front and are attached at the back to two posts of cartilage. When no vocal sound is being produced these posts remain apart, and the vocal cords lie in the shape of the letter V. When a vocal sound is produced, the posts are drawn toward each other until the edges of the vocal cords touch. Then when a column of air is forced between them they vibrate and produce a vocal tone.

14. Sound and speech. It should be noted that the action of the breath on the vocal cords produces nothing more than sound; not sound modified into vowels and consonants, but merely noise such as might come from a clarionet or an organ pipe. All animals have the power to produce sound; some have ability to vary the sound slightly; but only man has the appliances and the intelligence necessary to transform this sound into the elements of speech.

Sounds leaving the vocal cords vary only in volume and pitch. They are then modified by the organs of speech into the speech elementsvowels and consonants.

15. The organs of speech. The organs of speech are the lips, the cheeks, the teeth, the tongue, the hard palate, the soft palate, and the nasal cavity. Changing the shape of the mouth by changing the relative position of these organs modifies the sound which comes from the vocal

cords into different open sounds called vowels. Restricting or checking vowel sounds produces consonant sounds. Thus are the speech elements formed.


FIG. V 1. The vocal cords drawn back for quiet breathing. 2. The vocal cords in a whisper. 3. The vocal cords when vibrating their full length. 4. The vocal cords when vibrating half their length. NOTE: 4 produces a sound an octave higher than 3.

NOTE: For a fuller discussion of the organs used to produce speech and their action the student may refer to The Natural Method of Voice Production, by Dr. F. G. Muckey (Scribner's).




16. A vowel sound is an open sound; that is, it is made with open throat, mouth, teeth, and lips. No part of the resonator may be closed while a vowel is being sounded. Hence a vowel sound may be prolonged as long as forced breath is supplied.

There are twelve (some say thirteen) primary vowel sounds. They are: 1. 00 as in fool 5. a as in fat 9. ay as in fate 2. oo as in foot 6. ah as in father10. eh as in then 3. oh as in blow 7. er as in her 11. į as in bit 4. aw as in saw 8. uh as in up

12. ee as in beet These twelve sounds may, for practical purposes at least, be regarded and used as the primary sounds out of which all the other sounds in American speech are made.

It must be quite evident that to learn to use the language accurately, one must first learn these primary sounds—how to recognize them and how to produce them. This may be done in two ways: by imitation, and by a study of the mechanical adjustment of the organs of speech for each sound. Neither method alone is adequate. Learning by ear is an inaccurate method, for the ear of

the learner may be untrue, or the sounds imitated may not be good models. Learning by position may be difficult because of physical peculiarities

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of the learner and resultant awkwardness in adjusting the speech organs. The surest way is to use both methods.

17. Exercise. Pronounce first the vowel sound, then the word in the list given on the preceding

page, beginning with oo and ending with ee. Note carefully the positions of the organs of

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speech as each is pronounced. If the sound oo is correctly made, the mouth will be elongated to its greatest extent from front to rear; the cheeks will be flattened and drawn in against the teeth;

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