Plural Publishing produces leading academic, scientific and clinical publications in the fields of speech-language pathology, audiology, and otolaryngology.


Preclinical Speech Science
Anatomy, Physiology, Acoustics, and Perception

Third Edition
Thomas J. Hixon, Gary Weismer, Jeannette D. Hoit
728 pages, Color Illustrations (4 Color), Hardcover, 8.5 x 11"
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Preclinical Speech Science: Anatomy, Physiology, Acoustics, and Perception, Third Edition is a high-quality text for undergraduate and graduate courses in speech and hearing science. Written in a user-friendly style by distinguished scientists/clinicians who have taught the course to thousands of students at premier academic programs, it is the text of choice for instructors and students. Additionally, it is applicable to a broad range of courses that cover the anatomy and physiology of speech production, speech acoustics, and swallowing as well as those that cover the hearing mechanism, psychoacoustics, and speech perception.

The material in this book is designed to help future speech-language pathologists and audiologists to understand the science that underpins their work and provide a framework for the evaluation and management of their future clients. It provides all the information students need to be fully ready for their clinical practicum training.


  • Describes scientific principles explicitly and in translational terms that emphasize their relevance to clinical practice.
  • Features beautiful original, full-color illustrations designed to be instructive learning tools.
  • Incorporates analogies that aid thinking about processes from different perspectives.
  • Features "sidetracks" that contain clinical insights and relate interesting historical and contemporary facts to the discipline of speech and hearing science.
  • Provides a framework for conceptualizing the uses, subsystems, and levels of observation of speech production, hearing, and swallowing.
  • Includes material that is ideal for preparing both undergraduates and graduates for clinical study.


  • Three new, up-to-date, and comprehensive chapters on auditory anatomy and physiology, auditory psychophysics, and speech physiology measurement and analysis.
  • All chapters fully revised, including updated references and new full-color, detailed images.
  • Ancillary materials available on a PluralPlus companion website, including PowerPoint lecture slides, image bank, study guides, audio files, and case studies.


Chapter 1. Introduction
Focus of the Book
Domain of Preclinical Speech Science
Domain of Preclinical Hearing Science

Chapter 2. Breathing and Speech Production
Anatomy of the Breathing Apparatus
Forces of Breathing
Movements of Breathing
Control Variables of Breathing
Neural Control of Breathing
Ventilation and Gas Exchange During Tidal Breathing
Breathing and Speech Production
Variables That Influence Speech Breathing

Chapter 3. Laryngeal Function and Speech Production
Anatomy of the Laryngeal Apparatus
Forces of the Laryngeal Apparatus
Movements of the Laryngeal Apparatus
Control Variables of Laryngeal Function
Neural Substrates of Laryngeal Control
Laryngeal Functions
Laryngeal Function in Speech Production
Variables That Influence Laryngeal Function During Speech Production

Chapter 4. Velopharyngeal-Nasal Function and Speech Production
Anatomy of the Velopharyngeal-Nasal Apparatus
Forces of the Velopharyngeal-Nasal Apparatus
Movements of the Velopharyngeal-Nasal Apparatus
Control Variables of Velopharyngeal-Nasal Function
Neural Substrates of Velopharyngeal-Nasal Control
Velopharyngeal-Nasal Functions
Ventilation and Velopharyngeal-Nasal Function
Velopharyngeal-Nasal Function and Speech Production
Variables That Influence Velopharyngeal-Nasal Function

Chapter 5. Pharyngeal-Oral Function and Speech Production
Anatomy of the Pharyngeal-Oral Apparatus
Forces of the Pharyngeal-Oral Apparatus
Movements of the Pharyngeal-Oral Apparatus
Control Variables of Pharyngeal-Oral Function
Neural Substrates of Pharyngeal-Oral Control
Pharyngeal-Oral Functions
Speech Production: Articulatory Descriptions
Speech Production Stream: Articulatory Processes
Variables That Influence Pharyngeal-Oral Function

Chapter 6. Speech Physiology Measurement and Analysis
Measurement and Analysis of Breathing
Measurement and Analysis of Laryngeal Function
Measurement and Analysis of Velopharyngeal-Nasal Function
Measurement and Analysis of Pharyngeal-Oral Function
Health Care Professionals and Clinical Measurements

Chapter 7. Acoustics
Pressure Waves
Sinusoidal Motion
Complex Acoustic Events

Chapter 8. Acoustic Theory of Vowel Production
What Is the Precise Nature of the Input Signal Generated by the Vibrating Vocal Folds?
Why Should the Vocal Tract Be Conceptualized as a Tube Closed at One End?
How Does the Vocal Tract Shape the Input Signal?
What Happens to the Resonant Frequencies of the Vocal Tract When the Tube Is
Constricted at a Given Location?
Confirmation of the Acoustic Theory of Vowel Production

Chapter 9. Theory of Consonant Acoustics
Why Is the Acoustic Theory of Speech Production Most Accurate and Straightforward for Vowels?
The Acoustics of Coupled (Shunt) Resonators and Their Application to Consonant Acoustics
What Is the Theory of Fricative Acoustics?
What Is the Theory of Stop Acoustics?
What Is the Theory of Affricate Acoustics?
Acoustic Contrasts Associated with the Voicing Distinction in Obstruents

Chapter 10. Speech Acoustic Measurement and Analysis
A Historical Prelude
The Sound Spectrograph: History and Technique
Speech Acoustics Is Not All About Segments: Suprasegmentals
Digital Techniques for Speech Analysis

Chapter 11. Acoustic Phonetics Data
/h/ Acoustics
Acoustic Characteristics of Prosody

Chapter 12. Speech Perception
Early Speech Perception Research and Categorical Perception
Vowel Perception
A Summary of Speech Perception Theories
Speech Intelligibility
Why Should Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists Care About Speech Perception?

Chapter 13. Anatomy and Physiology of the Auditory System
Temporal Bone
Peripheral Anatomy of the Auditory System
Outer Ear (Conductive Mechanism)
Middle Ear (Conductive Mechanism)
Inner Ear (Sensorineural Mechanism)
Auditory Nerve and Auditory Pathways (Neural Mechanism)

Chapter 14. Auditory Psychophysics
Auditory Psychophysics
Psychophysics of Loudness
Psychophysics of Pitch
Psychophysics of Timbre
Psychophysics of Time
Psychophysics of Sound Localization

Chapter 15. Neural Structures and Mechanisms for Speech, Language, and Hearing
The Nervous System: An Overview and Concepts
Cerebral Hemispheres and White Matter
Subcortical Nuclei and Cerebellum
Brainstem and Cranial Nerves
Cortical Innervation Patterns
Spinal Cord and Spinal Nerves
Nervous System Cells
Meninges, Ventricles, Blood Supply
Speech and Language Functions of the Brain: Possible Sites and Mechanisms

Chapter 16. Swallowing
Forces and Movements of Swallowing
Breathing and Swallowing
Neural Control of Swallowing
Variables That Influence Swallowing
Measurement and Analysis of Swallowing
Health Care Professionals

Name Index
Subject Index

About The Authors

Thomas J. Hixon

Thomas J. Hixon, PhD, (1940-2009), received his PhD from the University of Iowa and did postdoctoral work in physiology at Harvard University. He was Professor Emeritus of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and Dean Emeritus of the Graduate College at the University of Arizona and had been Head of the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Director of the National Center for Neurogenic Communication Disorders, Director of Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs, Director of the Movement Neuroscience Program, Research Integrity Officer, and Associate Vice President for Research at the same institution. Dr. Hixon was a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and was awarded Honors of the Association, the Council of Editor's Award, two Journal Editor's Awards from the Association for the outstanding article of the year, and a Career Teaching Award from the University of Arizona. Dr. Hixon served as Editor of the Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, Speech Section Editor of the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, and an editorial reviewer and/or Associate Editor to over a dozen other speech and voice journals. His research interests centered on normal and abnormal speech production and the biomechanics of singing.

Gary Weismer

Gary Weismer, PhD, is Oros-Bascom Professor Emeritus in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the Pennsylvania State University and his doctorate from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1975. Dr. Weismer's research publications concern speech production in healthy talkers, as well as speech production and intelligibility phenomena in persons with motor speech disorders. Dr. Weismer served twice as Associate Editor for the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research (formerly the Journal of Speech and Hearing Research), as Associate Editor at Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica (FPL) from 1994 to 2011, and as Editor-in-Chief at FPL from 2011 to 2016. During his 35 years at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Weismer won several teaching awards, including for mentoring efforts in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Honors program. Dr. Weismer mentored 16 doctoral students during his career, many of whom are currently scientific leaders and university administrators. He is a past member of the Executive Board of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics, a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, and past chair of his department. His research was supported by National Institutes of Health for more than 25 years.

Jeannette D. Hoit

Jeannette D. Hoit, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and Director of Postdoctoral Affairs at the University of Arizona and a speech-language pathologist. Dr. Hoit received her BA in Anthropology from the University of California at Los Angeles, her MA in Communicative Disorders from San Diego State University, and her PhD in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Arizona, and she pursued postdoctoral study in the Harvard School of Public Health Respiratory Biology Program and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Speech Research Laboratory. Dr. Hoit's research focuses on speech physiology, with an emphasis on normal aging and development, neuromotor speech disorders, and respiratory function and dysfunction. Dr. Hoit is a past and current editor of the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, a fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and past president of the American Association of Phonetic Sciences. She has received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from San Diego State University and several teaching and mentoring awards from the University of Arizona.

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