The influence of subglottal acoustics on laboratory models of phonation

Zhaoyan Zhang, Juergen Neubauer, David A. Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Many previous laboratory investigations of phonation involving physical models, excised larynges, and in vivo canine larynges have failed to fully specify the subglottal system. Many of these same studies have reported a variety of nonlinear phenomena, including bifurcations (e.g., various classes of phonation onset and offset, register changes, frequency jumps), subharmonics, and chaos, and attributed such phenomena to the biomechanical properties of the larynx. However, such nonlinear phenomena may also be indicative of strong coupling between the voice source and the subglottal tract. Consequently, in such studies, it has not been clear whether the underlying mechanisms of such nonlinear phenomena were acoustical, biomechanical, or a coupling of the acoustical and biomechanical systems. Using a physical model of vocal fold vibration, and tracheal tube lengths which have been commonly reported in the literature, it is hypothesized and subsequently shown that such nonlinear phenomena may be replicated solely on the basis of laryngeal interactions with the acoustical resonances of the subglottal system. Recommendations are given for ruling out acoustical resonances as the source of nonlinear phenomena in future laboratory studies of phonation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1558-1569
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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