Biological Cybernetics

, Volume 112, Issue 3, pp 253–276 | Cite as

Coupling relations underlying the production of speech articulator movements and their invariance to speech rate

  • Leonardo LanciaEmail author
  • Benjamin Rosenbaum
Original Article


Since the seminal works of Bernstein (The coordination and regulation of movements. Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1967) several authors have supported the idea that, to produce a goal-oriented movement in general, and a movement of the organs responsible for the production of speech sounds in particular, individuals activate a set of coupling relations that coordinate the behavior of the elements of the motor system involved in the production of the target movement or sound. In order to characterize the configurations of the coupling relations underlying speech production articulator movements, we introduce an original method based on recurrence analysis. The method is validated through the analysis of simulated dynamical systems adapted to reproduce the features of speech gesture kinematics and it is applied to the analysis of speech articulator movements recorded in five German speakers during the production of labial and coronal plosive and fricative consonants at variable speech rates. We were able to show that the underlying coupling relations change systematically between labial and coronal consonants, but are not affected by speech rate, despite the presence of qualitative changes observed in the trajectory of the jaw at fast speech rate.


Speech articulation Coupling relations Recurrence analysis Motor control Speech rate 



Leonardo Lancia’s work, carried out within the Labex BLRI (ANR-11-LABX-0036) and EFL (ANR-10-LABX-0083), has benefited from support from the French government, managed by the French National Agency for Research (ANR), under the program “Investissements d’Avenir”.

Supplementary material

422_2018_749_MOESM1_ESM.docx (747 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (docx 746 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Phonétique et Phonologie (CNRS, Sorbonne Nouvelle)ParisFrance
  2. 2.German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  3. 3.Institute of EcologyFriedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany

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