Function: Speech

The larynx (voice box) is responsible for voice production. Sounds are made when air from the lungs passes across two fibrous bands within the larynx, known as vocal cords. The sounds produced by the vibrating cords are formed into speech by the mouth and tongue.

Side view of the larynx

The larynx is composed of the vocal cords and the thyroid and cricoid cartilages, which are connected by ligaments. The organ is located in the neck, above the trachea.

Movements of the vocal cords

The vocal cords are held open during breathing, but during speech they pull together and vibrate as air from the lungs passes between them. Sounds vary according to the exact position of the cords.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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