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date: 25 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

A theory of speech production provides an account of the means by which a planned sequence of language forms is implemented as vocal tract activity that gives rise to an audible, intelligible acoustic speech signal. Such an account must address several issues. Two central issues are considered in this article. One issue concerns the nature of language forms that ostensibly compose plans for utterances. Because of their role in making linguistic messages public, a straightforward idea is that language forms are themselves the public behaviors in which members of a language community engage when talking. By most accounts, however, the relation of phonological segments to actions of the vocal tract is not one of identity. Rather, phonological segments are mental categories with featural attributes. Another issue concerns what, at various levels of description, the talker aims to achieve. This article focuses on speech production, and considers language forms and plans for speaking, along with speakers' goals as acoustic targets or vocal tract gestures, the DIVA theory of speech production, the task dynamic model, coarticulation, and prosody.

Keywords: DIVA theory, speech production, language forms, vocal tract, phonological segments, speaking, gestures, task dynamic model, coarticulation, prosody

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