As the dynamics of comlex tissue and muscle arise in precision motor exercises like speech, the need abstract and modularize the mechanics of speech becomes more important. Furthermore, a large body of work in neurophysiology, biomechanics, and computation has substantiated the view that control of body movements is distributed among a manageable number of degrees of freedom corresponding to neuromuscular modules. In light of this, the idea that the solution to improving our capabilites to accurately synthesis human speech lies within the modularization of speech, too.
Posture and the Oris Orbicularis
The Oris Orbicularis is a complex of muscles that circle the mouth. They play a prominent role in realizing speech, as many produced sounds depend in some way on the aperture of the mouth. Similarily, the posture of the jaw is connected to our oral abilites, as the muscles around the mouth are connected at numerous insertions near the jaw.
Exploring the responsibilites and contraints of articulation in speech is done best through simulation - these images show the frequency outputs of different embouchures.
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A biomechanical modeling study of the effects of the orbicularis oris muscle and jaw posture on lip shape, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 2013.
Subject-specific biomechanical modelling of the oropharynx with application to speech production, 2015 IEEE 12th International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI), pgs 1-11, 2015.