April 1980

The Physics of Speech

Author Affiliations

San Francisco


by D. B. Fry, 148 pp, $19.95 (hardcover), $6.95 (paperback), New York, Cambridge University Press, 1979.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1980;106(4):247. doi:10.1001/archotol.1980.00790280055015

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The Physics of Speech takes a reader on a slow but logically organized journey through the complexities of speech-chain acoustics and their physical attributes. The book comprises two conceptual parts, all organized into 11 chapters. The first eight chapters treat, in detail, basic concepts of sound acoustics, providing a novice in this field with the description and nature of primary audio signal characteristics, speech sounds included. This part (chapter 2) is a somewhat lengthy and tedious account of the physical principles of sound generation and sound complexities. The conceptually difficult aspects of sound wave propagation (chapter 3) and sound absorption (chapter 4) are outlined somewhat simplistically, but in an easily accessible way, thus making this material comprehensible to all. At this point, the reader is afforded a smooth and natural transition into the principles of resonancy (chapter 5) and structural complexity of speech sounds (chapter 6), making it clear why

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