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Acoustic Phonetics [Paperback]

Kenneth N. Stevens
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

July 24 2000 0262692503 978-0262692502

This long-awaited work presents a theory of speech-sound generation in the human vocal system. The comprehensive acoustic theory serves as one basis for defining categories of speech sounds used to form distinctions between words in languages. The author begins with a review of the anatomy and physiology of speech production, then covers source mechanisms, the vocal tract as an acoustic filter, relevant aspects of auditory psychophysics and physiology, and phonological representations. In the remaining chapters he presents a detailed examination of vowels, consonants, and the influence of context on speech sound production. Although he focuses mainly on the sounds of English, he touches briefly on sounds in other languages.

The book will serve as a reference for speech scientists, speech pathologists, linguists interested in phonetics and phonology, psychologists interested in speech perception and production, and engineers concerned with speech processing applications.


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Review

Whenever anybody -- linguist, speech pathologist, or communication engineer -- wants to know why the acoustic structure of a particular sound is as it is, this is the book to which they will turn. There is absolutely no other book with anything like this depth of coverage.

(Peter Ladefoged, Professor of Phonetics Emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles)

About the Author

Kenneth N. Stevens is the Clarence J. LeBel Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
The author, Ken Stevens, together with Gunnar Fant, is largely responsible for the development of our understanding of the acoustics of speech production, that is, of how the changing configuration of the articulators is related to the acoustic properties of speech. This book is the culmination of that work.
It is in theory self-contained, with a lengthy introductory chapter
on the anatomy and physiology of speech production and chapters on sound sources, resonances of the vocal tract, and auditory processing of speechlike sounds that provide the background for chapters devoted to the various major types of speech sounds. However, a full understanding requires a fair background in mathematics, physics, and electrical engineering. The book is nonetheless lucidly written.
The closest that I can come to criticism is that the title is slightly misleading. "The Acoustics of Speech Production" might have been a better title. The emphasis is on elucidating the basic principles of the acoustics of speech production rather than on describing the details of the production of particular speech sounds; it is not a compendium of the acoustic properties of all known speech sounds. Similarly, unlike some books with titles like "Acoustic Phonetics", it does not attempt to teach the reader how to conduct acoustic phonetic research.
This book has no competitor. No other work provides such a comprehensive view of the acoustics of speech production with such a depth of analysis. It will be the standard reference in the field for many years to come.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The standard treatise on the acoustics of speech production April 28 2004
By William J. Poser - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The author, Ken Stevens, together with Gunnar Fant, is largely responsible for the development of our understanding of the acoustics of speech production, that is, of how the changing configuration of the articulators is related to the acoustic properties of speech. This book is the culmination of that work.
It is in theory self-contained, with a lengthy introductory chapter
on the anatomy and physiology of speech production and chapters on sound sources, resonances of the vocal tract, and auditory processing of speechlike sounds that provide the background for chapters devoted to the various major types of speech sounds. However, a full understanding requires a fair background in mathematics, physics, and electrical engineering. The book is nonetheless lucidly written.
The closest that I can come to criticism is that the title is slightly misleading. "The Acoustics of Speech Production" might have been a better title. The emphasis is on elucidating the basic principles of the acoustics of speech production rather than on describing the details of the production of particular speech sounds; it is not a compendium of the acoustic properties of all known speech sounds. Similarly, unlike some books with titles like "Acoustic Phonetics", it does not attempt to teach the reader how to conduct acoustic phonetic research.
This book has no competitor. No other work provides such a comprehensive view of the acoustics of speech production with such a depth of analysis. It will be the standard reference in the field for many years to come.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magnificent, tour de force, masterly technical analysis Feb. 10 1999
By JMPickett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Stevens' treatise carries Fant's classic of 1960 up to date, and to a more linguistic level in describing the essential, basic acoustic features of speech. The mathematics are beyond me but I expect to find answers to any question I have about the acoustics of speech communication for explanations in my own book. J.M. Pickett
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