Simulation of glottal volume flow and vocal fold tissue movement was accomplished by numerical solution of a time‐dependent boundary value problem, in which nonuniform, orthotropic, linear, incompressible vocal fold tissue media were surrounded by irregularly shaped boundaries, which were either fixed or subject to aerodynamic stresses. Spatial nonuniformity of the tissues was of the layered type, including a mucosal layer, a ligamental layer, and muscular layers. Orthotropy was required to stabilized the vocal folds longitudinally and to accomodate large variations in muscular stress. Incompressibility and vertical motions at the golttis played an important role in producing and sustaining phonation. A nominal configuration for male fundamental speaking pitches was selected, and the regulation of fundamental frequency, intensity, average volume flow, and vocal efficiency was investigated in terms of variations around this nominal configuration. Parameters which were varied consisted of geometrical factors such as length, thickness, and depth, factors for shaping the glottis, as well as tissue elasticities, tissue viscosities, and subglottal pressure. Since nonlinear stress–strain properties were not included, subglottal pressure did not produce a pronounced effect upon fundamental frequency under these somewhat idealized conditions. F0 rasing correlated strongly with increased tension in the ligament, and somewhat with increasing tension in the vocalis. F0 lowering correlated with increase in vocal fold length when the tensions were held constant, but not with increase in vocal fold thickness. Vocal intensity and efficiency are shown to have local maxima as the configurational parameters are varied one at a time. It appears that oral acoustic power output and vocal efficiency can be maximized by proper adjustments of longitudinal tension of nonmuscular (mucosal and ligamental) tissue layers in relation to muscular layers. Quantitative verification of the ’’body‐cover’’ theory is therefore suggested, and several further implications with regard to control of the human larynx are considered.

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