Speech mechanisms

Speech production includes three main mechanisms. These are:

  • Respiration
  • Phonation
  • Articulation

In this article I hope to give you a brief introduction to these mechanisms and what they do.


Respiration involves how the the airstream is speech production is created. In English speech the airstream usually comes outward from the lungs.


After the airstream is created, the airstream passes through the larynx. The larynx modifies the the airstream before it gets to the articulators above the larynx. The voicing of a sound happens in the larynx.


Articulation involves the other ways the vocal tract adjusts to modify the airstream and produce different sounds. You can read more about manners of articulation and places of articulation.

What to sound more like a native English speaker?

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