Re: Human Language. (long post)

John A. Halloran (
11 Jan 1997 11:20:04 -0700

In article <> Michael McBroom <> writes:
>> What do you think about how the human voice could become louder at any pitch
>> because descent of the larynx created a larger resonating chamber?

>Not much. Your question suggests that the human voice would be loudest
>at its deepest pitch. This is most definitely NOT the case.
>Furthermore, the size of the pharynx shrinks somewhat with an elevation
>in pitch, but there is no decrease in volume, is there?

As you said from your experience with tweeter and woofer speakers in a music
band, low-pitched sounds require more energy to produce. A large male would
have more energy than a female or child. A large male would use more energy
to produce the same volume at a low pitch as a female produces at a high
pitch. But here we are talking about volume when measured in close proximity
to the producers. If a car radio is playing loudly far down the street, all
one hears are the low-pitched bass sounds. These have more energy so they are
able to travel farther. So any measure of volume must specify the distance
at which it is measured since differently pitched frequences attenuate
differently with distance. Again, mature male hunters would have the energy
to produce calls that could travel long distances.


John Halloran