Tongue Bracing

Tongue Bracing

Project Overview 

A series of imaging and simulation studies has shown that the tongue maintains a stable, actively braced posture throughout speech. We have observed that this posture occurs across different sounds and different languages, and that it is robust to perturbation. A further simulation study shows shared muscle activation patterns between this tongue posture and swallowing postures, suggesting that tongue bracing is one way in which speech is built on innate oromotor stereotypies. Follow-up studies continue to reveal aspects of this postural substrate for speech-related tongue movement.

Selected Publications / Conferences


Liu, Y., Tong, F., De Boer, G., & Gick, B. (2022). Lateral tongue bracing as a universal postural basis for speech. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 1-16. doi:10.1017/S0025100321000335


Liu, Y., Tong, F., Choi, D., & Gick, B. (2018). Cross-linguistic bracing: analyzing vertical tongue movement. Canadian Acoustics, 46(4), 50-51.

Gick, B., Keough, M., Tkachman, O., & Liu, Y. (2018). Lateral bias in lingual bracing during speech. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 144(3), 1903-1903.

Luo, S., Liu, Y., Shamei, A., Schellenberg, M., Łuszczuk, M., & Gick, B. (2018). Tongue bracing under bite block perturbation,“. Canadian Acoustics, 46(4), 54-55.

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