An assessment of a target-based control model of speech production using Feldman's Equilibrium Point Hypothesis is presented. It consists of simulations of articulatory movements during Vowel-to-Vowel sequences with a 2D biomechanical tongue model. In the model the main muscles responsible for tongue movements and tongue shaping in the mid-sagittal plane are represented. The elastic properties are accounted through a Finite-Element modeling, while force generation principles an implemented according to the non-linear force-length Invariant Characteristics proposed by Feldman. Movement is produced through control variable shifts at rates that are constant throughout each transition. The external contours of the model an adjusted to approximate X-ray data collected on a native speaker of French, and it is inserted in the vocal tract contours of the speaker. Thus, from tongue shapes generated with the model, it was possible to produce formant trajectories compatible with the speaker's acoustic space. It permitted a comparison of simulations with real data collected on the speaker in the kinematic and acoustic domains. Emphasis is put on the realism of synthesized formant trajectories, and on the potential influence of biomechanical tongue properties on to measurable kinematic features. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V.
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