The larynx, also called the Adam's apple or voice box, connects the pharynx with the trachea. The larynx, located in the anterior neck region, has a box-like shape. See figure 7-3 for an illustration. Since the voice box of the male becomes larger and heavier during puberty, the voice deepens. The adult male's voice box tends to be located lower in the neck; in the female, the larynx remains higher and smaller and the voice is of a higher pitch.

a. Parts and Spaces. The larynx has a vestibule ("entrance hallway") which can be covered over by the epiglottis. The glottis itself is the hole between the vocal cords. Through the glottis, air passes from the vestibule into the main chamber of the larynx (below the cords) and then into the trachea. The skeleton of the larynx is made up of a series of cartilages.

b. Muscles. The larynx serves two functions and there are two sets of muscles--one for each function.

(1) One set controls the size of the glottis. Thus, it regulates the volume of air passing through the trachea.

(2) The other set controls the tension of the vocal cords. Thus, it produces vibrations of selected frequencies (variations in pitch) of the moving air to be used in the process of speaking.

Figure 7-3. The larynx.

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