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Reviewed by:
  • Articulatory Phonetics by Bryan Gick, Ian Wilson, and Donald Derrick
  • Sarah D.F. Greer
Bryan Gick, Ian Wilson, and Donald Derrick. 2013. Articulatory Phonetics. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell. Pp. xxii + 250. CDN $56.95 (softcover).

Articulatory Phonetics is a first-edition textbook by Gick, Wilson, and Derrick. The book is divided into two parts: Part I tackles basic anatomy and how thought becomes sound, while Part II delves into how specific types of sounds are articulated. Each chapter begins with an abstract and ends with exercises such as short-answer questions and/or practical assignments. Also included at the end of each chapter is a section titled sufficient jargon, which is a list of key terms the student should become familiar with.

Part I begins with “The Speech System and Basic Anatomy” whose main focus is on the building blocks of anatomy, although it does briefly discuss the speech chain. It includes an explanation of anatomical planes (full body & vocal tract), an introduction to the hard and soft materials in the body (bones and cartilages vs. muscles) that are discussed in detail in the other chapters, as well as a brief discussion of the different types of devices available to track and measure articulatory movements. These are then cross-referenced with the chapters in which each device will be discussed.

The second chapter “Where It All Starts: The Central Nervous System” gives an overview of said system, its composition, and how it sends messages to other parts of [End Page 110] the body. It also treats the areas of the brain; those used specifically for speech, such as Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas, other areas that facilitate speech perception, such as the visual cortex, and subcortical speech areas that affect fine motor function. Methods for measuring brain activity are mentioned (such as fMRI, PET, EEG, MEG, TMS), as well as how each of these methods work, what they measure, and the pros and cons of each with respect to conducting experiments with human participants.

The peripheral nervous system is discussed in Chapter 3, “From Thought to Movement: The Peripheral Nervous System”, with a focus on the cranial nerves that are important for speech production, the spinal nerves and their role in speech, and the composition of muscles and how they move. The authors discuss the pros and cons of using surface vs. intramuscular electromyography (EMG) techniques to measure muscle activation, as well as how response latencies to outside stimuli (auditory, visual, tactile) compare to the thought signal time that causes muscle movement.

Chapter 4 “From Movement to Flow: Respiration” begins with a discussion of airflow principles (Boyle’s Law, equalization of pressure), lung volume (respiration volumes: tidal breathing, speech breathing, maximum breathing), and how lung volume is measured. It also addresses the anatomy involved in respiration (the bones, cartilage, and muscles, both inspiratory and expiratory), the respiratory cycle and muscle activation, measuring airflow and air pressure with pneumotachograph, and the connection between airflow and pitch and loudness.

Chapter 5 “From Flow to Sound” explores the intrinsic anatomy of the larynx, including the small cartilages and muscles of the larynx, where they attach to the larger laryngeal structure, and where the vocal folds attach to said structure. This chapter also discusses modal phonation and voicelessness, as well as theories of phonation. The latter include myoelastic aerodynamic theory and Bernoulli’s principle, multiple-mass models of vocal fold vibration, as well as brief mentions of cover body and flow separation theories and the muco-viscose effect. Pitch control is also discussed, which includes a description of fundamental frequency (F0) and how F0 changes with respect to the positioning of intrinsic laryngeal muscles, larynx height, and subglottal pressure. This chapter ends with a discussion of how vocal-fold vibration can be measured through the use of electroglottography (EGG). Part II begins with “Articulating Laryngeal Sounds”. This chapter examines the extrinsic anatomy of the larynx, including the hyoid bone and the various muscles that contribute to larynx movement, and where these muscles are attached in the greater structure. Non-modal phonation types, including breathy, creaky, and falsetto voices, a discussion of subharmonic phonation, glottalic airstream mechanisms, and how to measure laryngeal...