Voice & Speech Review. 8:2 2014: 179-198.Marion, T. "Lunch-talk, Part 1: The Glottis, Driving Pressures, & Bernoulli’s Big But."
Since the 1980’s a pedagogical shift in American speech teaching has been underway. Speech standards in the United States have been under attack – and rightly so – as prescriptive enforcement of, so called, “good speech” – a holdout of early twentieth century methodologies to rarefy American speech sounds. Now, new ways are being developed to teach speech without reference to “correct” or “good” pronunciations. In response, various new methodologies have emerged, often advising that the only standards to uphold should be ones of intelligibility and speech modification skill-level. However, this has led to various criticisms. Effective voice work has standards of increased vocal resonance, muscular ease, and healthy vocal functioning. Should not these standards be included with speech, or does speech stand alone as a matter of pure articulatory function? To answer this, further questions arise: What precisely is the interplay between voice and speech; can one be considered without the other? What are the limits of articulatory action on intelligibility? What creates resonance, and how does resonance affect voice and speech behavior? And, to what degree, if any, does speech modification affect vocal functioning, and what is its effect on healthy voicing? I submit that as new speech methodologies begin to standardize guiding principles of contemporary speech pedagogy, it is important to analyze their underlining philosophy on scientifically valid foundations. While teachers have important ideas to contribute to the pedagogical conversation, they need to be open to learning from the voice science community, willing to embrace new revelations on the interplay of voice and speech functioning, and, if needed, willing to relinquish ideas that run counter to reality. This work seeks to elucidate these considerations.