You are on page 1of 16

SPEAKING

MACHINE

OF

WOLFGANG

VON

KEMPELEN

151

If we consider only the octavefrequencies 250, 125, noisecalculations givenin column12, and values are 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, and gOO0, then the following of Zr fromEq. (41)or
Zr = B,+AB,+ 8+ K- 7o' are given in the last column.
APPENDIX 2: HEARING LOSS FOP. SPEECH

(41)

equation approximately is correct. ,= - 10 log{EWe10 -/'} (lO0)


where k takes the successive values of 125, 250, 500, 1000,2000,4000,and 8000.The weights givenby are

In this-appendix relationship the betweenthe hearing loss speech and the hearing audiogram for 4 loss will be considered. ti be the hearinglossat the freLet quencyf for a pure tone. It is the ordinatein the audiogram. we consider hasthe same If ti effectupon For 125 c.p.s. W=0.000, 250 c.p.s. W=0.003, 500 the threshold level as an attenuation -R from the cp.s. W=0.104, 1000 c.p.s. W=0.388, 2000 c.p.s. flat response system, thenby analogy Eq. (23) the . W=0.395 4000 to , c.p.s. W=0.106,8000 c.p.s. W=0.004. So for most purposes needsto consider one only the hearing loss speech/t, givenby for is 'four frequencies 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 and use weights 0,1, 0.4, 0.4 and 0.1. For a fairly flat audiogram is approximately it correct to take an averageof the hearing lossat 500, H. Fletcher, method calculating "A of hearing loss speech for 1000,and 2000c.p.s. froman audiogram," Acous. J. Soc.Am. 22, 1 (1950).

WJo.7 = Gdf.

10-,n0= foG110-llOdf. (99)


SOCIETY OF AMERICA

THE JOURNAL

OF THE ACOUSTICAL

VOLUME

22, NUMBER

MARCH,

1950

The SpeakingMachine of Wolfgangvon Kempelen*


Homer DrrDL

Bdl Talephone Laboratories, Murray Hi!l, New Jersey


Alqn

T. H. T^ocz

Biophysial Laboratorythe of Institute Anthropology Museum Natural for ofthe of History, Budapest, Hungary
(Received October17, 1949)

Thephysiological motions involved speaking beindicated theeyeor to theear.For theeye in can to suitably chosen symbols bewritten indicate physiological may to the positions assumed forming in each sound; theearsynthetic for sounds beproduced motions a mechanism to simulate may by in built the speech organs. degree phonetic The of success beestimatedthecase thevisible may in of symbols listening by
to sounds formed when indicated the physiological processes carried andin thecase thespeechare out, of simulating mechanism comparing synthetic by the speech produced normally to spoken speech. Signifint advances along boththevisual theaurallines described earliest and are from times down thepresent. to

Wolfgang Kempelen yon produced firstspeaking the machine worthy thename of around 1780. This paper gives background, his a description apparatus built, a discussion methods in ofthe he and of the used producing various the sounds, his fitting work theover-all into picture speech-imitating from of devices the speakingidols ancient of of times down theautomatic to electrical reconstructing ofspeech thevocoder. in For portraying theeyethephysiological to characteristics of speech there discussed more are the outstanding methods claimed from symbolic alphabets ancient of languages to therecent down spectrographic
visiblespeech.

vocal system. 1791 published456In he a garian,Wolfgang Ritter von Kempelen, in of thehuman or, with 25 plates, describing his Hungarian, Kempden Farkas Lovag, firstbuilta com- pagebook, illustrated observations human speech on productionand his plete and, on the whole,a surprisingly successful during twodecades hadbeen the he workspeaking machine. Speech formed manipulationexperiments was by ing on his speaking machine. appearance his The of event.Introductory the to * Orally presented theAcoustical before Society America,bookwas a great social of
originaldraft.
sametime (1791).

OWARD endof the 18thCentury Hunthe a

of mechanical elements simulatingthe essential parts

May 5, 1949,New York, by Dudley with originaldraft by der Sprache nebst Beschreibung der Tarnoczy. paper The here,in general, follows oral presenta- Mechanismus menschlichen the sprechenden Maschine. Alsopublished Frenchat the in tionincluding setof figures alsoothermaterial in the seiner a and not

ed 22 Sep 2011 to 130.91.140.232. Redistribution subject to ASA license or copyright; see http://asadl.org/journals/doc/ASALIB-home/info

152

HO3,IER

DUDLEY'

AND

T.

tl.

T\RNOCZV

bookarelisted,assubscribers, names outstanding 122 of peopleof Austria,Russia,Italy, and Hungary. ,on Kempelen was born on January 23, 1734, in P( vsony,a city in westernHungaD', now Bratislava,
Czechoslovakia, and died in Vienna on March 26, 1804.

[ : reached high government position the Habsburg in mt,narchybecoming,in 1767, Aulic Counselor the of (_hamer of the Domainof Empress and QueenMaria '1heres He traveledwidelyover Europe.He madethe
ins 6f the fountains in Schinbrunn and later the

le,igns of the Royal Castleof Buda. He organized the , ool manufacture South-Hungary. wasa skilfful in He

engineer a genius organization. and in '-e questiona ises as to what motivated van

Kempelento attempt the building of any speaking machine,for no one had, so far as known, attempted this difficulttask in the centuries preceding day m the 1769 he started a job that, off and on, would take over two decades complete. to The answer part, no doubt, in is that he had someinterestin the problemof speech by deaf-mutes.But, more fundamentally,there were from the lower animals.Accordingly,in ancient times, several factors favorable thedevelopment a speak- man took speech a symbolof his divine origin and to of as ing machine a man of his ability and inclination by at assumed his gods were, somehow, speaking gods. that particulartime. Pervading timeshas beenthe Naturally then, the priests tried to make their idols all basicimportance and significance speech. of But, in appearto speak directlyto the people. For thispurpose additioIlto this general urge,therewasstirringabroad speechwas piped in from a concealed priest to make in van Kempelen's an aroused day scientific curiosity in words issue forth from the mouth of the Oracle of the wake of the Reformation,and from this there had Orpheuson the Isle of Lesbos? one revelation,this In arisengraduallythe faint beginnings physiological oracleaccuratelypredictedthe violent death of Cyrus of phonetics a science. as These three factorswill be dis- the Great in hisexpedition againstthe Scythians. the In cussed brieflybeforereturningto his book. Middle Ages,a thousandyears later, Roger Baconand Speech of suchbasicimportance is that civilization othersbuilt small talking headsof bronzeand woodas asknowntodaycouldnot existwithoutit, yet like the modelsof ingenuitywith concealed tubesbringingin a air we breathe,it so envelops that we take it for speaker'svoice but without intent of superstitious us granted.The continuing importance speech its deception. of in Von Kempelen was born in a time of arousedscientific curiosity.Galileohad passed lessthan a century on earlier.There was stirringa healthfulskepticism which demanded that truth be soughtnot in a blind faith but by experimental methods cut-and-try.This scientific of vigor manifested itself stronglyin the designof automata to produce motionsof varioussortswhenenergized

application modemcivilization indicated the to is by industries built uponspeech since Kempelen's yon day. Man's unaided voicecarries lessthan a mileat a speffd of only 12 milesper minute,a speed actuallysomewhat lessthan that of a fast jet plane of today. But the telephone industries carrythe spoken wordthousands of milesand at speeds millionsof miles per minute; of radio industries providefor audiences numbering millions of people at a time; phonographindustries preserve speech unborngenerations hear. Transfor to mission the written wordhasbeenaccomplished of by the telegraph and morerecentlythe facsimile industries. nd evenin yon Kempelen's timestherewereindustries handling the printed word which have expanded enormously the intervening in years to flood us with books, magazines,newspapers, maps, folders, pamphlets, advertisements, etc. Religion, education, the professions, fact all organized in society,depended then as now uponthe spoken and written word. By speech man raised himself to a position above and distinct

as by. windinga spring.Thus a Frenchman named


Vaucanson built a man-like figure, or android as it was called, that played a flute with all the complicated motionsneeded the lips and fingers. later made for I-Ie an automatonfor simultaneously playing a shepherd's pipe held in one hand while beating a tamhour with the other hand. He also developeda miraculousduck, perhaps in some ways the most extraordinary automaton ever constructed.It moved its wingsand walked in a natural manner. It drank water, muddling in the
'act. It would take corn from one's hand and swallow it

with a completesimulationof the digestionprocess


: The ScieMifi Papers of Sir Cltarles Wlteatslone(1879). Sir David Brexster,Letterson Aatural }[aglc (1832).

Fla. 1. Automaton chessplayer van Kempelen. Courtesy of of aSci. Am. 24, 32 (1871). An Account the [echanism an of of Oxford University Press. Automaton, etc. (translationby J. T. Desaguliers) (1742). ded 22 Sep 2011 to 130.91.140.232. Redistribution subject to ASA license or copyright; see http://asadl.org/journals/doc/ASALIB-home/info/

SPEAKING

MACHINE

OF

WOLFGANG

VON

KEMPELEN

153

aided by chemicalmeans. Another Frenchman, Le Droz, made up a writing child while his son made a bullfinch that wouldjump up from a snuffbox,wagits

tail, spread wings, its pourforth a melodious song, and


then dart down into the box as the lid closed.

Now yon Kempelenwas alsoa skilledmechanician. In the spirit of mechanical ingenuityof the times he built* in 1769his famous"chess automaton"(Fig. 1) with a turbanedTurk playing an alm6st unbeatable game of chessseated at a desk on which there was
mounted a chess board. The device was exhibited over

Europe in the next four years by yon Kempelenand after his death by Maelzel in Europe and later in
America until burned in a fire in 1836. Before the exhibition the cloak at the back of the Turk was lifted

and, several a time, variouscompartments the at of desk wereopened to show up theirapparent emptiness. When everything was closed, with a lot of noisefrom
insidemachinery,the Turk laid down a long-stemmed pipe and starteda chess move.Von Kempden himself remarkedthat this chess player was not a true auto-

London,Robert Willis, notedfor his later researches on

maton,its only. outstanding featurebeingthe skill of the deception. The deception apparentlyconsisted in Fro. 2. Hebrewletter.M as a tongue position havinga skilledplayer conceal himselfin the cabinet accordingto Helmont. and play the game from informationreceived the in upwarddisplacement a smalliron ball undereach was a "natural" alphabetin that the letter symbols of square whichtherewasplaced of the chessmen,represented actual tonguepositions on one the and so should eachof which contained strongmagnet.The chess be useful in teachingspeechto the deaf-dumb.Von a playeris saidto have beatenNapoleon one of its Kempelen reproduced in four of Helmont's illustrations, games. 1821,whenthe playerwasbeingexhibited In in oneof whichisshown hereasFig. 2. The tongue position
is for M, the 13th letter of the Hebrew alphabet,pro-

synthetic vowelproductionwrotea 40-page 5 booklet nounced 5 Mere, as indicated Hebrewbelowthepicture in on the chess player.His attemptedanalysis doesnot of the head.The figuresin the borderof the headband agree entirelywith Murray'sexplanation the auto- are related forms for the letter M, those numbered of maton mechanism. "4," for instance,being copiedfrom ancient coins. The difficultyof the problem,the mechanical in- Von KempelencriticizedHelmont, pointing out that genuity,the breadthof view and to someextent the for the sound M, the tongue of position of little imis feeland daring showmanship for manifested von portance that the significant by but positions in the are Kempden the chess in playerarecharacteristics shown open nasal passages the closedlips, althoughthe and in hisdevelopment the speaking of machine startedin latter are shownopen by Helmont. The small element the same year, 1769. But the chessautomaton was ahead of the 'distorted tongueis part of the Hebrew completed six monthswhile the speaking in machine letter M but seems have no phoneticsignificance. to occupied von Kempelen muchof the time for over for A more seriousrepresentationof alphabetic chartwentyyearsbefore published results 1791. he his in actersby the useof phoneticsymbols portrayingvocal This aroused growing and spirit of experimental in- tract positions published a book a year later by was in s vestigation science general in in naturallyled to ques- Bishop JohnWilkins in England.Figure3 is a copyof tionsas to the physiology speech of production, thus page378 of his book.Here are illustratedthe pictures layingthe foundation experimental of phonetics a of the head with vocal positionsfor 34 soundsconas science.A century before von Kempelen'sstudies, sisting eightvowels of and 13pairsof voiced consonants Baron Franciscus Mercuriusab Helmont published with unvoiced a counterparts. Corfiparing consonants the book in Latin contending 7 that the Hebrewalphabet in the list with those givenby Fletcher onenotesthat
' H. J. R. Murray, A History of Chess (Oxford University Press, consonants, four voiced and four unvoicedfricatives, London,1913), pp. 876--7. s RobertWillis, Trans. Camb. Phil. Soc.3, 231 (1829). and five voiced semivowels. Wilkins differsin showing Robert Willis, An Attemptto Analyzethe Automaton Chess

both lists contain four voiced and four unvoicedstop

Playerof M. de Kempden with an Easy Method Imitatingthe of Movements thatCalebrated of Figure,with 10 Plates(1821).
*Baron Franciscus Mercurius ab Helmont, Alphabeti vere Naturalis Hebraii Brevissima Ddineatio (1667).

Bishop JohnWilkins,An EssayTowards RealCharacter a and a Philosophical Language (1668).

9I-I. Fletcher, Speech Hearing(1929),p. 6. and

ed 22 Sep 2011 to 130.91.140.232. Redistribution subject to ASA license or copyright; see http://asadl.org/journals/doc/ASALIB-home/info

154

HOMER

DUDLEY

AND

T.

H.

TARNOCZ

ded 22 Sep 2011 to 130.91.140.232. Redistribution subject to ASA license or copyright; see http://asadl.org/journals/doc/ASALIB-home/info/

SPEAKING

MACHINE

OF

WOLFGANG

VON

KEMPELEN

155

a complete of unvoiced set semivowels hm, hn, hng, Englishalphabet, hi, and two diagrams definethe chief to andhr, andomitting threetransitionals w, andh. consonant the y, and vowel symbols,respectively. the In The unvoiced semivowels foundin some are languages universal alphabettable,consonants represented are in with Welshcontaining five. He listsy as a vowel, column. all 1-4; the vowelsin 6-8; glidesin 5; throat probably considered as a vowel(we=fiE)and really sounds and modifiers in 9 and 0. The first six rows of w provideda multiplicity of h sounds with his five un- consonants are the unvoiced ones, with the voiced voicedsemivowels. showedonly eight vowelsas counterparts He given in the next six rowswith short against in the Fletcher 11 list. In the upperright-hand inside barsaddedto represent voicing. The diagramat corner for each of the 34 sound illustrations are Wilkins' the left showsthree cord positions, bar for voicing, proposed phonetic symbols. the upperleft portion a circlefor wide openas in producing soundh of In the of Fig. 3, nineheads shown are with no sectioning a column row a, i.e., 9a, and an X for the closed in 9, glottis three-by-three arrangement for thosesoundshaving in 9c.A partialopening in whispering shown an as is by significant positions. eachof the other25 illustra- oval in 9b with a bar addedto showhoarse lip In vocalityas tions,a section shown revealthe position vocal in 9h.Thepointof constriction is to of (aperture) represented is parts within the mouth and throat. Somephysically in the diagramby the concave quarter of the threesignificant symbolsused are a circle for the rounded quartercircles. The aperturemay be at the backof the the the lipsof the o sound, pair of dosed a lips for p, closed tongue, frontof the tongue, pointof the tongue lips with a semicircle smallwave to represent or vocal or thelips producing consbnant the columns which 1-4 recordactionfor 13, straight a horizontal through line the are calledback, front, point, and lip consonants, mouth to represent flow of air throughthe mouth spectively. rowsb and h of the consonant the In symbols for the consonants wherethereis a relativelyfreeflow, thereis a minoraperture the quarteropposite the in to and a slightlycurvedline at the top to represent the main apertureas represented a pair of small threeby flow of air throughthe noseas in the caseof m, hm, n, quarter circles;the indicatedconsonants termed are
and hn.

Wilkins, in the samebook, page 376, showsa sort of

back-mixed,front-mixed, point-mixed, and lip-mixed. In rows c and i the main quarter of the symbol is

syllabary reproduced as Fig. 4. Consonants here follow- indentedto representdividing the 'air stream as in are ing a vowelin a syllable shown smalllettersas the sound f (4c); such consonants called backare in listedin column those 1; preceding vowelare shown divided, front-divided, etc. Mixture combinedwith the gives mixed-divided the consonants represented by capital letters listed column Column gives division as in 9. 2 the consonant symbols indicating consonantsin rowsd and k. Rowse and I have the three-quarter for the by a alone.The row numbered! givesthe six vowelshe circleclosed a straightline representing "shut" as thus used row2, theirsymbols. and Columns givevowel- position in the stopconsonants; le is the back3-8 consonant combinations and columns10-15, the con- shutconsonant 11is the back-shut k, voiceconsonant g, the sonant-vowel combinations. employsa small circle etc. In the final rows f and m of the consonants, He .refersto placedhigh, middle,or low for the first three of his wavy line from the uvula in the diagram vowelsand a semicircle similarlyplacedfor the other closing the nasalpassages with the uvula to give the calledback-nasal, The meanings etc. three.His consonant of Fig. 4 includes w, and y, nasalconsonants list h, for for thoughtheseare not in the illustratedlist of Fig. 3. of the symbols the tonguepositions vowelsare a The reasonfor includingthem here is that they com- givenin the right diagram.An uprightbar indicates bine with the vowels.At the bottom of the figureis vowel as in columns6-8 throughout,while the small horizontal bars in the lower six rows indicates round the Lord's Prayer written with thesesymbols. i.e., vowelsspoken with roundlips. The back, To round out the picture of phoneticportrayal, we vowels, note that since yon Kempelen's time, considerable front, and mixedpositions the tongue represented of are furtheradvance beenmade.In particular,Alexander by dots or hooksat the left, right, and left plus right has The hook indiMelville Belltworked out a set of symbolshe termed of the vertical vowel bar, respectively. "visiblespeech," showing minutedetailthe complete cates that the voice channelis openedwide, the dot in of is by vocalactionin producing only the speech not sounds not sowide.The elevation the tongue indicated on but alsowhispers, whistles, sobs, grunts,clicks,hisses, the dot or hook positions the vertical bar, a low by a by sighs, coughs, sneezes, kisses, all othersounds and pro- elevation the bottomposition, high elevation ducibleby the human vocal mechanism. detailed the topposition, a medium mid-elevation the A and or by explanation the symbols alsogivenby his son, combination of one dot or hook at the bottom and the of is Alexander Graham Bell.n Figure 52 shows his basic otherat the top. Thus u as in pull listedas 6k wouldbe defined a high-back-wide-round as vowel.This explana"universal alphabet,"the sounds from it usedin the tion covering84 consonants and vowels,many not to oAlexanderMelville Bell, VisibleSpeech--The Science [lniof adequatefor versal Alphabetks(D. Van Nostrend Company,Inc. New York be found in any language,is considered 1867). showing howthe physiological production the various of u Alexander GrahamBell, Mehanisra Speezh o] (1907), second speech sounds indicated greatdetailby Mr. Bell. is in edition.
t FromExplanatory Lecture Visible on Speech (1870).

The International Phonetic Association,founded in

ed 22 Sep 2011 to 130.91.140.232. Redistribution subject to ASA license or copyright; see http://asadl.org/journals/doc/ASALIB-home/info

156

HOMER

DUDLEY

AND

T.

H.

TARNOCZY

6
7 8

FIG. 4. Wilkin's English languagesyllabaryfor a philosophical


language.

.( 1,( '(L/d LIJ,I01"/ IVLT

I,.('q /I/), .( "l/d /l '1,I/U q,

ed 22 Sep 2011 to 130.91.140.232. Redistribution subject to ASA license or copyright; see http://asadl.org/journals/doc/ASALIB-home/info

SPEAKING

MACHINE

OF

WOLFGANG

VON

KEMPELEN

157

1886,drewup an International Phonetic Alphabet in dividedinto five chapters, thus: 1888 providing symbols presumably speech ChapterI, pp. 1-28--Speech General; for all in sounds but without special physiological connotation ChapterII, pp. 28-56Origin of Speech; as in the case symbols of shown the present in paper. ChapterIII, pp. 57-177--VocalParts and Their Functions; of Languages; Recently Potter and his co-workers a have developed ChapterIV, pp. 178-387--Sounds European Machine. visiblespeech analysis with the soundspectrograph, ChapterV, pp. 388-456--The Speaking portrayingthe soundspectrumautomatically,thus The first two chaptersgive brief discussions speech of replacing assumed positions the vocalparts with and its origin in quite generalfashion.In the third of objectively recorded physical characteristicsactually chapter examines whichbodilypartscontribute of he into spoken speech. words The "visible speech" such to the formingof speech from a sounds and how theseparts spectrogram shown Fig. 6a, whileFig. 6b shows function are in normally under and faultyconditions. thus He thesetof manual alphabetic symbols in an experi- explains voice,considering used the particularly functhe mental training program portraythe distinguishing to tioning thelungs, of trachea, glottis, nose, mouth, tongue, characteristics speech of sounds revealed spec- teeth, and lips. In the fourth chapterhe listsmostof as by
trograms.

the European alphabetic sounds. then proceeds He for In the centurypreceding Kempelen, yon therewas eachsoundand by groups consider to what wouldbe much speculation linguists, by physicists, psychologists, simplest the hand-operated mechanism produce to fair and speech teachers the mechanism speech. on of The imitations of these sounds. First he observes his own understanding physical of science advancing was from vocal systemas objectivelyas possible determine to philosophical speculation scientific to experimentationexperimentally relative mouth and tongue-channel the with physicalapparatus.Von Kempelen,as stated openingsfor the vowels a, e, i, o, and u, with these earlier,startedworkingon his speaking machinein results:
1769 and continued to 1791 at least. Others were also

active in this period. Thus, in 1779 the Imperial Academy St. Petersburg of offered annual its prizefor explaining physiological differences andmaking in, apparatus for, producing five vowel sounds/A(father), the E (they),I (machine), (note),and lJ (crude).These O and so, for consistency, be usedhere.The prize will waswon by ChristianGottlieb Kratzenstein, born in TM Wernigerode, Germany, who becamea Professor of Physiology at Halle and later at Copenhagen. first He madefive tubesas shownin cross section Fig. 7. in Thesetubesroughlyapproximated sizeand shape the of the vocalpassages whenset to produce different the sounds. wereenergized free reedsexceptthe I All by tube whichwasblowninto directlyin the fashion an of

Vowelsound
a e i
o

Mouth opening Tongue-channel opening


$ 4 3
2

3 2 1
4

5.

are the long vowel soundsas used on the Continent The numbers showrelativesizes, increasing from 1 to 5.
He extends his observations to fit into this tabulation

seven othervowels a total of 12. Then he proceeds for to the consonants. Figure8, yon Kempelen's Plate XII, illustrateshis method of practical visualizationand adaptationas he reduces applicable vocalparts to the simplest manuallyoperable mechanism a groupof for sounds. this figure,for making the voicedexplosive In
soundsB and D, he substitutesfor the mouth a wooden

box, for the lips a pair of hinged woodenshutters,for organpipe. It is interestingto note that Robert Willis,s the tongue a hinged woodenflap, operableby a string, showedthat the shapesof Kratzenstein'stubes were and for the air supplya tube to whichcouldbe fitted a are not important as the required resonances could be reed for voicing.The two top subfigures for the B beforeand after the start of the explosive emission obtainedfrom a singlepipe the length of which was sound adjustedfor the differentsounds, and that, in fact, the of air; the two lower ones,for D. These cut-and-try were usefulto yon Kempelenin clarifyinghis vowelseries couldbe covered alternatelyforwardand designs understanding the mechanics sound of of production by in reverse the pipe lengthwasincreased. as

His final speakingmachine Fromthe foregoing background returnto a review the human mechanism. we

ofthehighlights Kempelen's This ofyon book. book is

sometimes used less idealized methods as even in this

case the B andD sounds, will be explained of as later.

Von Kempelenin the fifth and final chapterof his aPotter, Green,and Kopp, VisibleSpeech (D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., New York, 1947). Some other writers have de- book describes the stepsof buildinghis speaking mascribedapparatusfor automaticwriting of the symbolsby the chine, his tests as he went along and finally how to voicebut the symbols in definiteness uniformity that lack and so they can hardly be classified alphabeticin the stageof develop- producethe different soundsand combinethem into as ment described; See,for example, B. Flower,"phonographic speech.He began with a searchfor a suitable sound J. alphabet"in "The true nature of speech,"Trans. A.I.E.E. 35, sourcefor imitating the tone from the vocal cords. 213-48(1916)andJ. Dreyfus-Graf, "Steno-sonographic alphabet" sourcehe found after exin "Le sonographe: elements principes," et Schweizer Archiv 14, The most natural-sounding
353-62 (1948).

"Tentamencoronaturn voce,"Acta Acad. Pettop. (1780). de The completearticle is in "Sur la naissance la formationde de voyelles,"J. de Physique21, 358-80 (1782).

amirtingmany musicalinstruments was a drone reed from a bagpipe.He first tried to producethe vowels
with a bell-shapedmouth attached to such a reed as

ed 22 Sep 2011 to 130.91.140.232. Redistribution subject to ASA license or copyright; see http://asadl.org/journals/doc/ASALIB-home/info

158

HOMER

DUDLEY

AND

T.

H.

TARNOCZY

Consonan

Po$igion$

Vowel

Positions

THE

UNIVERSAL

ALPHABET.

words ' Visible Speech"

* The Marginal Numbers Lettersmaybeused, and instead theVisible of Speech Letters, express mechanism sounds common to the of in type. The followlng examples show English, the Scotch, Irishpronunciations and of the

Fro. Sa..

shown Fig.9. Instead using sliding in of the plateshown trolling froma common air bellows separate to passages at the bottomhe usuallyplacedhis hand on or near eachcontaining reed,thus usingindividualreedsfor a thebellmouthin various positions formthedifferent the different to voiced sounds. triedrectangular He boxes

sounds onlyobtained but non-vowel tones and later


vowel-like tones with a characteristic "ah" sound no

such as the two at the left and then round boxessuch

as the four at the right. He writes he obtainedsome

matterhowhishands wereplaced. The results werenot very satisfactory for his second so model he built a

good vowel distinctions thefirsttime,forming fair for a


a, o, and u. He also obtained fair consonantsoundsfor

console shown Fig.10with13piano-like con- p, m, and 1. With these formed as in keys he simple words like

ded 22 Sep 2011 to 130.91.140.232. Redistribution subject to ASA license or copyright; see http://asadl.org/journals/doc/ASALIB-home/info/

SPEAKING

MACHINE

OF

WOLFGANG

VON

KEMPELEN

159

THE

ENGLISH

ALPHABET.

[The Italicletters theEnglish are equivalents Visible of the Speech Letters theorrondln in
sections the Universal of Alphabet.]

i
a

2 s

1 sh

4 wh

5
hearo

6 up

8
eel

9
]

0"
aeeen a

alell

otd b

'd

tin

near -tn*

-ces*

11

ask

-al*

alr

ink

hin lamp l arm an sir


oldll

] zealazure way'

] ten

pull-ure

fi

The sounds marked occur * onlyin unaccented syllables; in as lr3[(l (mention);D{fIf-places; 13{t% (fatal; DIt;/(pleasure); Ot%t (history; JO],./(orator}. The' glide' 5a heard between vowelandr; asin hero, a airy,fief, gloor, &c.
The sounds ' ale' and ' old' includethe ' glides'5c. and 5/. Thus: in CO (ale); ]'l (old). R final or before a consonant, in air, arm &c, is the ' Point-Glide' a[ as
Thus :

{It (air); l

(arm).

Accent is alwayson the first syllable unlessothenvheCl[}(0[O (ex'9ressed). The markisplaced 1['13}(be'fore) syllable which the to

it G)I'I

(reSfers).
FI. 5b.

Fro. 5. The "universal alphabet"of Alexander Mdville Bell with symbol-defining diagrams and illustrations

in English. (Seeopposite pagefor Fig. 5a.)

"papa"and "mama" but noticed two troubles; first, the around closure bothsides. experimented the on He with sounds not blend togetherin a natural way, and an adjustable did wire to change effective the lengthof the
second, vowelsin particular cameon rather explosively, vibrating reed and thus alter the pitch but he found it thus addinga k-like sound. difficultto obtain a variablepitch so he satisfied himHe decided that to overcome the first trouble he selfwith a monotone, statingthat he left this improveshould awaywith hismultiplicityof reeds, do producing ment to later workersin the field. In this connection, all voicedsounds from the samereed.Then, to prevent it is of interest note that J. R. Ewald developed to ta the explosive oncoming vowels, lined the reedand of he J. R. Ewald, "Zur kOnstruktion polsterpfdfen," yon Pfitigers the edge it beat against with thin soft glove leather Archiv f. die gesarnte PhYsiologie 12, 171 (1913).

ed 22 Sep 2011 to 130.91.140.232. Redistribution subject to ASA license or copyright; see http://asadl.org/journals/doc/ASALIB-home/info

160

HOMER

DUDLEY

AND

T.

H.

TARNOCZY

somespringed cushions vibrate in a pipe in close about one-halfinch from the mouth; for u the hand is to resemblance to the human mechanism and that the held at with the openingof the mouth reducedto a the artificial laryn_.x invented R. R. Riesz gavea fair minimumshortof stopping reedvibration;but with by 6 rangeof pitch variationaccording the air pressure the openinggreater than for i; for i the flat hand is to tightly across mouth opening the and the index applied thevibratingreed,increasing to pressure giving placed. increasing pitch; also that the methodyon Kempelen fingerthen crooked, that thereappears the second so at tried had long been successfully applied to pipe organ knuckle a small opening,more air pressure being rereeds. quired for this vowel than for the others.He saysthe Having thus failed in his first two attempts to make positions othervowels for suchas the umlautsare intera speakingmachine along the lines represented in mediateto the givenpositions caneasilybe located and Figs.9 and 10, yon Kempelen thenstartedanew.This with a small amount of practice.His description of third effort resultedin his final speaking machine,the positionsinfers he tried to modify a secondresonant essentials which are shownwith a scaleindicating frequencyof the vowel spectrumas doeshis consideraof size in Fig. 11, a reproduction his Plate XXV. The tion of the two openings, of tongue-to-palate mouth. and bellowsX shownin part at the top is usedto set up An over-all picture of the consonants made on yon an air pressure "wind-box"A. With by-pass in keys s Kempelen'smachine is obtained by comparingthe and sch closed,the excess pressure box A can only ones he claimed with a list of the 24 consonants used in be reduced leakage discussed and by passage in Englishas given by Fletcher:9 by as later of air against reededge, the thussetting in vibratory it Class Produced \'ot produced
motion.

Semivowels

1, m, n, r,

ng

A brief description be givenof how the different Stops will sounds produced are according yon Kempelen. to The ricatives

operator rests rightarmonthebellows andpumps his X it with an up-and-down motion, speech beingproduced on the downmotion.The fingers the right hand are of set to operatethe special consonant controls marked r, sch,n, m, and s. The left handis placed palm inward beforethe opening of bell C. The vowelsare probc duced by working the bellowswith the right elbow whileblocking nostril-imitating the tubesm and n by fingers therighthand,with the left handsetin such of position beforeC as listening and practice indicated bestfor theparticular vowelbeing produced. sound For a the hand is kept distant from the mouth opening; for e the handis hollowed slightlywith its bottomedge against mouthand its top edgeaboutone inch the away; for o the top of the hollowed handshould be

Transitionals

p, b; t, d; k, g; f, v; s, z; sh, h, w, y (German j)

ch, j (judge) zh; th (thin), th' (then).

Von Kempelenalso producedthe soundof ch (ich) found in German but not in English for a total of 19 consonant sounds.Of the six soundslisted as not produced,noneare mentioned yon Kempelen.Of these by six sounds, only ng is foundin the Germanlanguage. Of the four semivowels listed as producedby yon KempelensoundI was made like the vowelsbut with the left thumb curving inside the rubber mouth to correspond the way I is producedin normal speech to with the tongue arched to divide the air stream in the mouth. The soundof m wasproduced closing by the mouth with the left hand while leaving open both nostrilsand soundn by leavingopen only one nostril of the speaking machine. produce he adjustedhis To r

IV

I.

. I

LE. II $

rr

CH

Fro. 6a. Recent visible speech spectrogram (Potter).Courtesy D. Van .N'ostrand of Company, Inc.

ed 22 Sep 2011 to 130.91.140.232. Redistribution subject to ASA license or copyright; see http://asadl.org/journals/doc/ASALIB-home/info

6R. R. Riesz, "Description demonstrationan artificial and of larynx," Acous. Am. 1, 273 (1930). .[. Soc.

SPEAKING

MACHINE

OF

WOLFGANG

VON

KEMPELEN

161

be

key

go

to

gay

t[

d3

for

vote thin then .see zoo she azure church judge

he

ohead

whe

m me

n no

r] sing

w we

j you

r reed

1 let

eve

it

hate met

at

esk father not

all

obey foot boot

--about up word word


. 3 g'

l
al

say

el

boy

al

out

clu

go

ou

new

Fza.6b. Manuals3 mbols alphabet recent for of visible speech (Potter).Courtesy D. Van Nostrand of Company, Inc.

a positions the following for voweland then depressedwhich wasclaimedto produce trilled r that was not the key markedr whichpusheda wire into contact perfectbut better than many peoplecouldmake. Of the six stop consonants produced, made p by he with the vibratingreed, thus giving a rattling effect ed 22 Sep 2011 to 130.91.140.232. Redistribution subject to ASA license or copyright; see http://asadl.org/journals/doc/ASALIB-home/info

162

HOMER

DUDLEY

kND

T.

H.

TARNOCZY

F[o. 7. Schematic representation Kratzenstein's vowelsynthesizers of five (from Young'sVaturalPhilosophy, 1845).

closing openings all and then, whenpressure wasbuilt up, releasingthe hand suddenlyfrom in front of the mouth. This soundwas rather weak at first so he provided an auxiliary storagebellowsunder the left side of the wind-box,not visiblein Fig. 11 but clearlyshown in the next figure.He found that buildingup the pressure in the "wind-box" and the mouth for sound p resulted, upon release of pressure, in sufficient air passing reedto produce voicingeffectsohe placed the a a small by-passing brasstube as shownin Fig. 11 near the sch key between the wind-box A and the bell mouth C. This, he saysled to a goodp sound.Adding voicingto p gave b. For t, d; k, g, he did not provide separate means as would seem indicated but after considerable experimentation decidedthat he could he modify the p and b soundsin a way, that he doesnot describe detail, to give tolerableresemblances the in to
desired sounds.

ducedzh, one would think, but yon Kempelen does


not mention zh at all.

The by-pass tubefromwind-box to bellC evidently A wasted some his air for he tellshow he couldonly of
produce short combinati&s of sounds in connected

speech,from a completedepression the bellows of

Of the five fricativesand three transitionals produced, he made f from the leakage of air with all openings closedwhile exertingstrongbellowspressure. He made h in the sameway but with the mouth left openand with lesspressure the bellows;German ch on was made like h but with the bellowspressed slightly harder but not enoughto vibrate the reed. He made v like f exceptthat a small escape air was permitted at of the mouth openingbc, sufficientto vibrate the reed. With less air but a larger percentageof vibrational power from the reed, the soundbecamew. The sound of s was made by depressing key marked s with the everythingelse closed;in this case the depression of key s openeda by-passto air at the side of the reed with the air escaping through the small funnel shown underthe s key, this funnelbeingdesigned a resonant of sizeand shapeto make a hisslike the sounds. adding a little voicingto s gavez. Similarly,sh (alwayswritten

schby yon Kempden)wasmadeby depressing key the marked sch, whereuponthe air was by-passedto the other side of the reed through the escapetube shown at the bottom whichtube wasdesigned an sh sound for resonance. Adding voicingproduced i.e., Germanj. FIG. 8. Von Kempelen's y, schematic showing essential features for a,n intermediateamount of voicingcould have promechanizing production B and D sounds. of

ed 22 Sep 2011 to 130.91.140.232. Redistribution subject to ASA license or copyright; see http://asadl.org/journals/doc/ASALIB-home/info

SPEAKING

MACHINE

OF

WOLFGANG

VON

KEMPELEN

163

although bellows sLx the capacity th had times air of


the lungs. Because this,he waslimitedto producing bf shortphrases a time suchas "Leopoldus at Secundus," while the human vocal system can producephrases several times longer on a single expiration of the
breath.

Summarizing, the 19 consonant of sounds yon Kempelentells of producing, find six (p, b; t, d; k, g) we

jr

Fra. 9. Von Kempelen's first vowelsynthesizer.

: \l

'z

;
I '

Fro. 11. Von Kempelen's final speaking machine.

were stop consonants made with an arrangementdesigned p; five,consisting the threefricatives, v, for of f,
and German ch, and two transitionMs, h and w, were

made by using escaping having a hissingsound air similar to f; seven(s, z; sh, y; m; n; r) were made by switching five different in resonant passages; one,1, and was made, as in human speech, splitting the airby
stream in the mouth.

This completes the description yon Kempelen's of work on his speaking machine. While he mentions his belief that the final machinecan easily be fitted with keyslike a piano(the second model,Fig. 10, had keys but not a single reed)and saysin conclusion that if he foundtime to improve machine, wouldcontinue the he his writing, explaining what he had done,we have no further record any suchwriting from the date of the of publication his bookin 1791to 1804whenhe died. of One must admirethe patience the man who worked of 22 yearson his speech machine before completing to it the point of wantingto describe in writing and also it the perserverance one who twice discards of sometwo afresh. Fro. 10. Von Kempelen's console some for vowels consonants. years'work and startsover completely and

d 22 Sep 2011 to 130.91.140.232. Redistribution subject to ASA license or copyright; see http://asadl.org/journals/doc/ASALIB-home/inf

164

HOMER

DUDLEY

AND

T.

H.

TARNOCZY

He statesthat in threeweeks time a person make can astonishing progress playingthe machine he limits in if himselfto the Latin, French, and Italian languages. German is much harder because the prevalence of of

briefly mentioningsome significantfurther developmentsof speech synthesis from his time on. About this sametime, Kratzensteinand alsoAbb Mical of France are said to have built speakingmachines which they consonants in German. exhibitedin Paris with pin-cylinderdrivesas in music Von Kempelen was not only a skilled mechanician boxes.These were presumablyinferior to von Kembut he had an acute and observantear for speech pelen's qualityof speech in produced. Professor Wheatsounds as well as a lot of common sense. Some of his stone,from von Kempelen's description, built a speakfirst-handobservations .reveala true understanding of ing machine which he demonstrated the Dublin ? in the manifold nature of speechand its interpretation. meetingof the British Association the Advancement for The similarity of all vowelswhen sustained a con- of Sciences August,1835.This is shown for in schematically siderable time is a characteristic the modern worker on in Fig. 12. In 1846 a certain Professor JosephFaber speech likely to observe, is perhaps with annoyance; of Viennademonstrated speech a roaching advertised s its disappearance dynamicspeech cheering. in is The as "Euphonia" in the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, difficultyof startinga vowelsoundwithout an accom- London. The deviceis pictured in Fig. 13. A ticket panyingexplosive effectis alsowell known.He again costingone shillingpermitted the bearer to hear the observes difficultyof getting a substitutefor the performance the consisting ordinary speech, of whispered vocal cords that sounds at all voice-like. He mentions speech,conversation, and the singingof airs ending that selecting high pitched voice is an advantage with "God Save the Queen" (Victoria'sreign). This a because a child's voice is not criticized. He made .use machine said. have beena big improvement is to over of the lack of sameness from voice to voice when he Yon Kempelen's,particularly from the standpointof modifiedthe p-b soundsto obtain his tolerablere- havinga variablepitch that permittedsinging. semblances the t-d and k-g sounds. to Finally he obHelmholtz with a seriesof tuning forks, Koenig servedthat peoplewould interpretsounds muchmore with a shaped siren,Miller and Stumpf with setsof easilywhengivensomecluebeforehand. pipes,Preeceand Stroh with gearedwheels a making a In conclusion, shall round out the picture by phonographic we record, manyothers and havesynthesized

/Reed cut off .


$

of Auxilia

...... ".""':'2'/ ' ..... ' .";, SWhistle

Leather Nostril X

Section through Resonator Reed and


Fro. 12. Wheatstone's speaking machine.

Adv. Sci. Notices (1835), p. 14.

London& Westminster Review28 (1837); TheScientific Papers Sir Charles of Wheatstone (1879),pp.348-367.Proc.BritishAss.

8C. M. Gabriel,"Machinepadant de M. Faber,"J. de Physique 274-5 (1879). F. Techmer, 8, Phonetik (1870). F. Techmer, "Naturwiss. analyse synthese hrrbaren und der sprache," Zeits. allg.Sprachwiss.69-170(1884). Int. f. 1,
Helmholm, Sensations Tone(1875), translated Ellis. of by R. Koenig,Qudques Experiences d'Aoustiqu, (1882). D.C. Miller, Science MusicalSounds of (1916). C. Stumpf, Die Spraddaute(1926).

W. H. Preece A. Stroh,"On thesynthetic and examination vowelsounds," of Proc.Roy. Soc.London 358 (1879). 28,

ed 22 Sep 2011 to 130.91.140.232. Redistribution subject to ASA license or copyright; see http://asadl.org/journals/doc/ASALIB-home/info

SPEAKING

X ACHINE

OF

WOLFGANG

VO'q

KEMPELE'q

165

Fla.

13. Faber's

speech organ.

vowels.The art of electronicmusicis closelyrelated. referred tot suppliesa vibrating reed for vocal cords A recentlybuilt 100-element tone synthesize hasbeen that have been removed or cannot be used satisfaca providedwith variable build-up and decaycontrolsso torily. Wright- developed "Sonovox" a whichuses other
that it can better
voice.

simulate

the tone characteristic

of

sound sources than the vocal cord tone for the basic

various musical instruments, including, of course, the

power.In particular,music othermaterialis obtained or in electricalform from a phonographrecord and con-

Pagetmadedevices plasticene, of rubber,etc. for producingindividuallyalmostevery consonant vowel and sound as discussed detail. in his book? Wagner in 26 built a vowel-copying electricalcircuit to control the amount of power in the region of the fundamental frequencyand in each of four formant frequency regions. Some partialsynthesis devices makeuseof the human mouth but supply a substituteenergy sourcefor the vocal cords.Thus, the artificial laryrx of R. R. Riesz
u H. Fletcher, "Demonstration lecture introducing the new tone synthesizer," Am. J. Phys. LI, 215-25 (1946). Paget,Human Speech (1930). saK. . Wagner, "Ein neues elektrischesSprechgerat zur Nachbildung der menschlichen Vokale," Abhandl. d. Preuss. .kad d. Wissenschaft.(1936L

14. Stewart'selectricalsynthesizer simplespeech for sounds. Courtesyof A'alure. ' G. Wright, Electronics13, 67 (August, 1940).

ed 22 Sep 2011 to 130.91.140.232. Redistribution subject to ASA license or copyright; see http://asadl.org/journals/doc/ASALIB-home/info

166

HOMER

DUDLEY

AND

T.

H.

TARNOCZY

Fro. 16. Schematic the vocoder,automaticelectricalspeech of

synthesizer. Courtesy Journal the of of Acoustical Society America. of


with the vocoder mentioned later. Professor Firestone a

built and on November 3, 1940 demonstrated before

-the Acoustical Society apparatus projecting for sounds from an electricalorganor other electricalsource into the mouth whereupon mouthing gavea modulation to produce multi-voice singing and similareffects. Stewart first set up an all-electrical 29 networkas in Fig. 14 for makingsome of'the speech sounds. 1939 In an all-electrical speech mechanism knownasthe Voder a (from the key lettersof VOiceDEmonstratoR) shown in principlein Fig. 15 was demonstrated skilled by
trained operatorsat the New York and San Francisco World's Fairs. Figure 16 showsfunct.ionally correa spondingdevice known as the vocoder (from VOice FIO. 15. Schematic the yoder,electricalcircuit for producing CODER) havingan electrical of speech synthesizer similar speech with manual controls.Courtesyof Journal of theFranklin Institute. to that of the yoderbut making useof controlcurrents

vertedto electrical waveswhichenergize sortof bone a conduction receiver transmitthe sound to through carti lage thelarynxintothe throat.Silent of speaking modulatessuch powerinto sound patterns givingthe effectof sound produced from otherthan vocalcordtones. The modulated output wavesfrom the mouthat low lvd are then pickedup and amplified produce to unusual voiceeffects. Similar effectsare producible electrically

from electricallyanalyzedspeech for automatically operating the synthesizerinstead of using manual


controls.

28 A. Firestone, F. "Artificial larynx for speaking and choral singing oneperson," Acous.Soc.Am. 11, 357, 376 (1940). by J. 9J. Q. Stewart, "An electrical analogue the vocalcords," of Nature 110, 311 (1922). a*Dudley, Riesz, and Watldns, "A synthetic speaer," J.
Franklin Inst. 227, 739 (1939).

an Dudley, "RemakingSpeech," Acous.Soc.Am. I1, 169 H. I(1939).

ded 22 Sep 2011 to 130.91.140.232. Redistribution subject to ASA license or copyright; see http://asadl.org/journals/doc/ASALIB-home/info/