Voice production is a result of the nonlinear, coupled interaction between laryngeal airflow and vocal fold tissue dynamics. Studying these fluid-structure interactions can contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms of speech production, leading to improved surgical, clinical, and pedagogical care. Aside from experiments using excised larynges (e.g., Berry et al., 2001) and a model of the superficial vocal fold layer (e.g., Chan et al., 1997), no studies appear to have been reported in which self-oscillating physical models were used that were similar to the human vocal folds in the following aspects: length scale, geometry, and dynamic and mechanical behavior. This paper describes a self-oscillating physical model designed to more closely represent the human vocal folds in terms of the above key parameters. The model was constructed using a flexible polymer casting and exhibited regular, self-sustained, large-amplitude oscillations at frequencies and operating conditions close to those found in human phonation. The model demonstrated potential for further studies involving laryngeal fluid-structure interactions.

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