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Voice, Speech, and Language: What are they?: Text Version

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Voice, speech, and language: What are they?

Unique functions that help us communicate.

A man hums: "Hmmm." A baby cries: "Waah."

What is voice?

"Voice" or "vocalization" is the sound humans make as our lungs push air between vocal folds in the larynx, causing them to vibrate.

Two adults greet each other: "How are you?" "Fine, thanks!"

What is speech?

"Speech" is precisely coordinated complex muscle movements made mainly by the tongue and lips that form human vocalization into specific recognizable sounds.

Three adults greet one another in Spanish, French, and English: "Hola." "Bonjour." "Hello."

What is language?

"Language" is how humans communicate, share, and explain knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors. Language can be written or spoken, or expressed by signing or with other gestures.

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