full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Shaylin Schundler: Why does your voice change as you get older?

Unscramble the Blue Letters

The specific sound of a speaking vcioe is the result of many aaotciamnl variables, but it’s mostly detmrneeid by the age and health of our vocal cdros and the size of our larynxes. The larynx is a complex system of muscle and cartilage that supports and mevos the vocal cords, or, as they’re more accurately known, the vocal folds. sutrng between the thyroid and arytenoid cartilages, these two meucsls form an etlasic curtain that opens and shuts across the trachea, the tube that carries air through the tahrot. The folds are apart when we’re breathing, but when we speak, they slam shut. Our lungs push air against the closed fldos, blowing them open and vibrating the tissue to produce sound. Unlike the dirbeetale focus required for playing an external iteumnsnrt, we effortlessly canhge notes as we speak. By phsiung air faster or slower, we change the fqcerneuy and amplitude of these vibrations, which respectively translate to the pitch and volume of our voices. Rapid and small vitnoibras create high-pitched, quiet tones, while slow, large vibrations produce deep, bellowing rumbles. Finally, by moving the laryngeal muscles between the cartilages, we can stretch and contract those folds to intuitively play our internal instruments.

Open Cloze

The specific sound of a speaking _____ is the result of many __________ variables, but it’s mostly __________ by the age and health of our vocal _____ and the size of our larynxes. The larynx is a complex system of muscle and cartilage that supports and _____ the vocal cords, or, as they’re more accurately known, the vocal folds. ______ between the thyroid and arytenoid cartilages, these two _______ form an _______ curtain that opens and shuts across the trachea, the tube that carries air through the ______. The folds are apart when we’re breathing, but when we speak, they slam shut. Our lungs push air against the closed _____, blowing them open and vibrating the tissue to produce sound. Unlike the __________ focus required for playing an external __________, we effortlessly ______ notes as we speak. By _______ air faster or slower, we change the _________ and amplitude of these vibrations, which respectively translate to the pitch and volume of our voices. Rapid and small __________ create high-pitched, quiet tones, while slow, large vibrations produce deep, bellowing rumbles. Finally, by moving the laryngeal muscles between the cartilages, we can stretch and contract those folds to intuitively play our internal instruments.

Solution

  1. elastic
  2. determined
  3. anatomical
  4. change
  5. cords
  6. instrument
  7. muscles
  8. strung
  9. moves
  10. frequency
  11. voice
  12. deliberate
  13. throat
  14. pushing
  15. folds
  16. vibrations

Original Text

The specific sound of a speaking voice is the result of many anatomical variables, but it’s mostly determined by the age and health of our vocal cords and the size of our larynxes. The larynx is a complex system of muscle and cartilage that supports and moves the vocal cords, or, as they’re more accurately known, the vocal folds. Strung between the thyroid and arytenoid cartilages, these two muscles form an elastic curtain that opens and shuts across the trachea, the tube that carries air through the throat. The folds are apart when we’re breathing, but when we speak, they slam shut. Our lungs push air against the closed folds, blowing them open and vibrating the tissue to produce sound. Unlike the deliberate focus required for playing an external instrument, we effortlessly change notes as we speak. By pushing air faster or slower, we change the frequency and amplitude of these vibrations, which respectively translate to the pitch and volume of our voices. Rapid and small vibrations create high-pitched, quiet tones, while slow, large vibrations produce deep, bellowing rumbles. Finally, by moving the laryngeal muscles between the cartilages, we can stretch and contract those folds to intuitively play our internal instruments.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
vocal folds 3
voice box 2

Important Words

  1. accurately
  2. age
  3. air
  4. amplitude
  5. anatomical
  6. arytenoid
  7. bellowing
  8. blowing
  9. breathing
  10. carries
  11. cartilage
  12. cartilages
  13. change
  14. closed
  15. complex
  16. contract
  17. cords
  18. create
  19. curtain
  20. deep
  21. deliberate
  22. determined
  23. effortlessly
  24. elastic
  25. external
  26. faster
  27. finally
  28. focus
  29. folds
  30. form
  31. frequency
  32. health
  33. instrument
  34. instruments
  35. internal
  36. intuitively
  37. large
  38. laryngeal
  39. larynx
  40. larynxes
  41. lungs
  42. moves
  43. moving
  44. muscle
  45. muscles
  46. notes
  47. open
  48. opens
  49. pitch
  50. play
  51. playing
  52. produce
  53. push
  54. pushing
  55. quiet
  56. rapid
  57. required
  58. result
  59. rumbles
  60. shut
  61. shuts
  62. size
  63. slam
  64. slow
  65. slower
  66. small
  67. sound
  68. speak
  69. speaking
  70. specific
  71. stretch
  72. strung
  73. supports
  74. system
  75. throat
  76. thyroid
  77. tissue
  78. tones
  79. trachea
  80. translate
  81. tube
  82. variables
  83. vibrating
  84. vibrations
  85. vocal
  86. voice
  87. voices
  88. volume