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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Voices play essential roles in human experience, and carry many kinds of meaning. At present, voice production, acoustics, and perception are treated as separate, independently-studied stages, creating a situation where voice comprises something different to everyone who studies it. This chapter presents arguments for an alternative approach, wherein voice is viewed as a single, integral process. According to this view, voice production, acoustics, aeroacoustics, biomechanics, perception, and all the rest, are conceptually inseparable, and none can be understood without knowing how its relationship to the others contributes to its structure and function. The authors of this chapter submit that development of a comprehensive theory of these interactions and dependencies should be the primary goal of voice research, because such a theory would form a basis on which to build realistic explanations of how voice functions socially and communicatively, how it has evolved, and how it conveys meanings of all sorts, leading to a deeper understanding of what it means to be human and to communicate.

Keywords: voice production, acoustics, voice perception, aeroacoustics, biomechanics, meaning, voice research

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