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The Speech Chain

16 May

According to picture above, there are 5 ‘state’ in the speech chain, i.e. Linguistic Level (Speaker Side), Physiological Level (Articulatory), Acoustic Level, Physiological Level (Auditory), and Linguistic Level (Listener Side)


  1. At linguistic level (speaker side), human will select, combine, and order suitable words into suitable sentences. Note that words are comprised of syllables and syllables are comprised of phonemes.
  2. Then, the ‘state’ move to physiological level (articulatory), which will involve neural and muscular activity, based on the input signal (phoneme) from the previous ‘state’. The muscular activity will form the articulator in a certain shape, so that the vocal tract for a specific phoneme is formed.
  3. The ‘state’ moves to acoustic level when there is air flowing through the vocal tract from the lungs. At this level, speech sound wave is generated and then transmitted on the medium of air.
  4. When the speech sound wave reaches listener’s ears, the ‘state’ moves to physiological level (auditory). The incoming wave will activates the hearing mechanism, which then involve neural activity in the hearing and perceptual mechanism.
  5. The speech chain is completed on the linguistic level (listener Side) when the listener recognizes the words and sentences produced by the speaker.