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Organs Of Speech : Meaning, Parts Of Organs Of Speech, Functions

This article contain information generally on the organs of speech: the meaning of the organs of speech, parts of the organs of speech and functions

Organs Of Speech Diagram

Organs of Speech are simply the organs in the body that produce sounds or sounds of speech. Technically, for the production of speech sounds, humans need an air-stream mechanism. The various organs in the body that convert the air that we normally breathe out into the atmosphere before it gets out of the outer atmosphere are the speech organs.

This article contains general information on the organs of speech: the meaning of the organs of speech, the parts of the organs of speech and their functions in producing speech.

Meaning Of Organs Of Speech

Organs of speech can be defined as any part of the body, as the tongue, velum, diaphragm, or lungs, that participates, actively or passively, voluntarily or involuntarily, in the production of the sounds of speech. 

These speech organs are the organs of our mouth which are being used to produce sounds. In such vein, they are referred to speech organs.

Organs of speech can also be referred to as 'The Articulators'. The study of speech organs that produce sounds are called "Articulatory Phonetics"

Parts Of The Organs Of Speech

The organs of speech are made up of:
  • Pharynx
  • Lips
  • Tongue
  • Alveolar ridge
  • Teeth
  • Hard palate
  •  Velum or soft palate
  • Uvula
  • Glottis

Organs Of Speech Diagram 

Below is a detailed diagram of the organs of speech. 

draw and label the organs of speech

How The Organs Of Speech In Phonetics Work

The sounds that are produced from the human mouth are a result of the contraction of muscles in the chest. The muscles in the chest that we use for breathing produce the flow of air that is needed for almost all speech sounds.

However, the muscles in the larynx produce several modifications in the flow of air from the chest to the mouth. Thus, after the air passes through the larynx, it goes through the vocal tract and ends at the mouth and nostrils. And from here, the air from the lungs escapes into the atmosphere.

Functions Of The Organs Of Speech

Each part of the organs of speech serves a particular function that is relevant to producing sounds. The study of these parts of the organs of speech provides a fundamental idea about speech and sounds.

Thus, in furtherance of the aforementioned parts of the organs of speech, the following provides short description on each speech organ and their functions.

  • Lips

The lips as an organ of speech create two different sounds which are mainly the labial, bilabial and labio-dental consonant sounds. Thus, both the upper lips and the lower lips are considered important apparatus in producing a speech sound.

  • Teeth
Just like the lips, the teeth as one of the organs of speech are important. Both the upper teeth and lower teeth are used in producing sounds like dental and labio-dental consonant sounds.

  • Tongue
The tongue is considered the most important apparatus out of the organs of speech. The tongue is divided into fiver parts. They are:
  1. Tip
  2. Blade
  3. Front
  4. Back
  5. Root

The tongue is effective in moving in different directions or shapes in order to make speech sounds.

  • Alveolar Ridge
This is the between the upper front teeth and hard palate. Thus, to produce speech sounds, the alveolar ridge and the blade of the tongue are used.

  • Hard Palate
This is a bong plate located at the roof of the mouth. The interaction between the hard palate and the tongue is necessary for the production of certain sounds. They are, d, t and j.

The hard palate is otherwise known as "the roof of the mouth".

  • The Velum or Soft Palate 
The velum or soft palate is the organ of speech that allows the passage of the air through the nose and mouth. 

The tongue is always in contact  with the lower side of the Velum when sounds like 'K' and 'G' are made. This makes it one of the speech organs that the tongue can make contact with.

  • Pharynx
This helps manipulate the vocal structure. This speech organ is a tube that begins just above the larynx. It is stated to be about 7 cm long in women and about 8 cm in men, and at its top end it is divided into two. A part is at the back of the mouth while the other is at the beginning of the way through the nasal cavity.

  • Uvula
This helps preventing air from escaping through the nose while producing sounds.

Classification of Speech Organs 

The speech organs can be divided into three groups. They are:

1. The respiratory system:

This comprises lungs, the muscles of the chest and the windpipe.

2. The phonatory system:

This comprises the larynx.

3. The articulatory system:

This comprises the nose, the teeth, the tongue, the roof of the mouth and the lips.


The speech organs, or articulators, produce the sounds of language and are quite essential to have a in-depth understanding of how sounds are formed and modified in sounds of language. 



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Pawners Paper: Organs Of Speech : Meaning, Parts Of Organs Of Speech, Functions
Organs Of Speech : Meaning, Parts Of Organs Of Speech, Functions
This article contain information generally on the organs of speech: the meaning of the organs of speech, parts of the organs of speech and functions
Pawners Paper
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