Ohala (1990)

1. Bibliography

Bell, A. G. (1907) The Mechanism of Speech. New York: Funk and Wagnalls.

Kent, R. D., B. S. Atal, and J. L. Miller (eds.) (1991) Papers in Speech Communication: Speech Production. Acoustical Society of America.

Ohala, J. J. (1990) Respiratory activity in speech. In W. J. Hardcastle and A. Marchal (eds), Speech Production and Speech Modelling. Dordrecht: Kluwer. 25-53.

Ohala, J. J. (1993) The whole body plethysmograph in speech research. https://archive.org/details/MeasuringSpeech1993
Stetson, R. H. (1928) Motor Phonetics. Current (1988) edition, edited by J. A. S. Kelso and K. G. Munhall. Boston: College-Hill Press.

2. Background (Kent et al. 1991: 1)

'An early theoretical opposition in the study of respiratory function in speech was between the ideas of the two eminent phoneticians, Alexander G. Bell (1907) and Raymond H. Stetson (1928). Bell proposed that the respiratory system provided a continuous driving pressure to support speech production ... analogous to the bellows of a church organ. ... Stetson took the different view that the syllable, presumed to be the basic unit of speech, is associated with a pulse of air. He believed that "every syllable has its chest pulse delimited by the chest muscles (intercostals) or by the constriction (complete or partial) of the consonant, or both".'

3. Ohala (1990): literature review (sections 1 - 4.5.2) cites
a long literature (e.g. Sweet 1911, Stetson 1928) claiming "that stress (or the prominence given to individual syllables) is implemented by greater respiratory effort. ... Ladefoged (1962b, 1967) and his colleagues found a momentary increase in the activity of the expiratory muscles (sampled via EMG needle electrodes) and in Ps [subglottal pressure] during and sometimes immediately before a stressed syllable".

Hypothesis: stress is implemented by expiratory muscle contractions.

4. Ohala (1990): Procedures 5. Ohala (1990): Results ("observations") Ohala interprets these results as showing "that the primary function of the pulmonic system during speech is simply to produce Ps that is reasonably constant and above some minimal level. Short-term passive variations in lung volume decrement occur in reaction to variations in lung pressure which in turn are reactions to changing downstream resistance to airflow caused by oral articulations. Active short-term variations in lung volume decrement are probably limited to the production of variations in the loudness of speech". In short, Stetson's hypothesis disproved.