As has been noted previously, speakers with coronally low "flat" palates exhibit less articulatory variability than speakers with coronally high "domeshaped" palates. This phenomenon is investigated by means of a tongue model and an EPG experiment. The results show that acoustic variability depends on the shape of the vocal tract. The same articulatory variability leads to more acoustic variability if the palate is flat than if it is domeshaped. Furthermore, speakers with domeshaped palates show more articulatory variability than speakers with flat palates. The results are explained by different control strategies by the speakers. Speakers with flat palates reduce their articulatory variability in order to keep their acoustic variability low.