Within the phonatory system (see above), the basic sound produced by the vibrations of vocal folds is called “voiced sound,” and has a buzzy characteristic. But at this stage in the vocal production system, it’s still a naked vibrational sound. Voiced sound for spoken word speech ends up sounding significantly different from our singing voice only when it hits the articulatory system.
This is where your mouth, nose, and throat contribute to muscular constrictions that reshape the passageway to create a resonant chamber for the air to pass through. Here in this resonating articulatory system is where our personal vocal characteristics are shaped — and it’s split partially between nature and nurture. Some of your speech voice characteristics come directly from the environment in which you cognitively learned how to communicate, while other elements of the voice simply have to do with the shape of your mouth, nasal passage, and pharynx.
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