Languages and Timbre

Subject: Languages and Timbre
From: Jason Smalridge (
Date: Sat Nov 06 2004 - 20:01:35 EST

I would like some help settling a discussion about timbre in a voice
made from different languages. I believe that the voice is created by
lungs, vocal cords, tongue, teeth, lips... and that each language has a
distinct way of using these parts to create the timbre of their
language. I thought that this was one reason why if a person who's
mother tongue is English began to learn Japanese, his accent would be
noticeable until he learned how to create the specific timbre to speak
the language.
I know that timbre is sort of hard to define, but I guess what I am
asking is: Can a person who speaks two languages perfectly(without a
trace of accent) actually be defined as a person who speaks with two
different timbres? Is there more at play then just the way the lips
and tongue form the different words from different languages? Do the
vocal chords actually change the (I think their called) formants to
achieve different languages?

Blah blah blah....

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