ASA 128th Meeting - Austin, Texas - 1994 Nov 28 .. Dec 02

4aSPa1. Anatomic development of the vocal tract: Implications for speech motor control and acoustic properties of speech.

Ray D. Kent

Dept. of Commun. Disord., Univ. of Wisconsin, 1975 Willow Dr., Madison, WI 53706

It has been proposed that models of speech production should be developed with consideration of age and gender differences. Although some important age differences in anatomy and acoustic patterns of vocalization have been described between infants and adults, much less attention has been given to the anatomic development of the speech production system between infancy and adulthood. This talk reviews the anatomic development of the craniofacial, oral, and laryngeal systems of speech production between birth and young adulthood. Implications of the developmental patterns are considered for the ontogeny of speech production, especially speech motor control and acoustic patterns of speech. Consideration also is given to gender and race as they relate to vocal tract anatomy and its development in children. Topics to be reviewed include: craniofacial skeleton, nasopharynx, tongue, lips, and larynx. The overall pattern of development will be summarized for each system and intervals of especially rapid growth will be identified. A major hypothesis to be evaluated is whether growth is harmonious across the major anatomic systems.