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I understand that vocal pitch basically depends on tension in the vocal cords, which I'm visualising in terms of the cords being stretched along their length.

I understand that the glottal stop is made by pressing the vocal cords together, which makes it sound as if the tension involved is at right angles to the tension that determines vocal pitch.

I doubt the reality is that simple, though. Can anyone tell me how making a glottal stop affects the longitudinal tension within the vocal cords?

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  • Well, naively speaking, a glottal may press the vocal lips together through lateral tension, rather obviously no? At least that's what I think I feel when sayin su'in [something]. – vectory Mar 27 '19 at 22:08
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I think the answer is, no, we cannot tell you. One reason is that there isn't just one thing "glottal stop". There is a dissertation Production and perception of glottal stops which covers the literature including the various different types of sounds involving glottal and ventricular adduction. Another reason is that longitudinal tension cannot be measured, it is only assumed based on theoretical modelling, and there is too much uncertainty regarding the factors that would go into computing that force. Some literature on vocal fold vibration van den Berg (1958) "Myoelastic aerodynamic theory of voice production", Ishizaka & Matsudaira (1968) "What makes the vocal folds vibrate", Stevens (1977) "Physics of laryngeal behavior and larynx modes", Eckert & Laver (1994) Menschen und ihre Stimmen. These sources would give you a conceptual framework for computing that force, as a physics exercise.

For what it's worth, you correctly state the two forces and the standard right angle assumption.

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