Speech Synthesis

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SPEECH SYNTHESIS

(c) 1963 Bell Telephone Laboratories, Incorporated

All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce any material contained in this book must be obtained, in writing, from the publisher.

Composed, Printed, and Bound by Waverly Press, Inc., Baltimore, Md.

PREPARED BY BELL TELEPHONE LABORATORIES FOR EDUCATIONAL USE

SPEECH SYNTHESIS - An Experiment in Electronic Speech Production

Cecil H. Coker
Peter B. Denes
Elliot N. Pinson

Bell Telephone Laboratories
Preface

The "Speech Synthesis" experiment, of which this book is a part, is one of several educational aids on speech and hearing, made available through the Bell System's High School Science program. Other material includes a classroom-oriented text entitled, The Speech Chain, a 19-minute color, sound film of the same title, and four classroom demonstration experiments. Speech is an important subject in its own right; in addition, it is an excellent example of a topic that can be thoroughly understood only by using the points of view and methods of investigation of several disciplines, such as anatomy, physiology, acoustics, psychology and linguistics. The "Speech Synthesis" experiment is intended to advance the student's understanding of speech production and recognition. The electronic circuit, if assembled properly, can produce a variety of vowel sounds. Experiments are suggested that demonstrate some of the acoustic and psychological factors involved in speech perception. The text also explains the importance of speech synthesizers as research tools for learning more about the processes of speech and hearing. Finally, we discuss some of the possible uses of speech synthesizers in future communication systems. The "Speech Synthesis" material is intended primarily for capable biology and physics students at the secondary school level. Since no knowledge of electronics is required for building the synthesizer, the biology student should not be unduly handicapped. The chief requirements are patience and care, for it is not a short task to mount and connect the many components that make up the synthesizer. An appendix on constructing the synthesizer, written by George R. Frost (who is also responsible for getting the circuit into its present form), provides some useful hints for the student. The authors appreciate his efforts and feel that the appendix is a valuable addition to the book. The authors are grateful to those who helped in the preparation of this book. We owe a special debt to D. H. Van Lenten, whose fine editing improved its readability. His efforts to coordinate the work of the authors also were invaluable.

Cecil H. Coker
Peter B. Denes
Elliot N. Pinson

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1Speech Synthesis and the Speech Chain

Spoken communication and its importance in human activities; speech synthesis; some old and some recent synthesizers; the speech chain - a brief description of the different forms in which a spoken message exists in its progress from the mind of the speaker to the mind of the listener; aspects of speech recognition.

CHAPTER 2Linguistic Organization

The phoneme the syllable, the word and the sentence; differences in dialect; grammatical and semantic rules of linguistic organization; stress and intonation.

CHAPTER 3The Physics of Sound

Vibrations; free and forced vibrations; resonance; frequency response; sound waves in air; Fourier's theorem; the spectrum; sound pressure; sound intensity; the decibel scale; acoustical resonance.

CHAPTER 4Human Speech Production

The anatomy of the vocal organs: lungs, trachea, larynx, pliaryiix, nose and mouth; the movement of the vocal organs during speech; the vibration of the vocal cords; the articulatory movements of the tongue, lips, teeth and soft palate; articulatory description of English speech sounds; the articulatory classification of vowels and consonants; the acoustics of speech production:...
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