Phonetics and speaking machines: On the mechanical simulation of human speech in the 17th century

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Abstract

This paper shows that in the 17th century various attempts were made to build fully automatic speaking devices resembling those exhibited in the late 18th-century in France and Germany. Through the analysis of writings by well-known 17th-century scientists, and a document hitherto unknown in the history of phonetics and speech synthesis, an excerpt from La Science universelle (1667[1641]) of the French writer Charles Sorel (1599-1674), it is argued that engineers and scientists of the Baroque period have to be credited with the first model of multilingual text-to-speech synthesis engines using unlimited vocabulary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-330
Number of pages42
JournalHistoriographia Linguistica
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 13 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Linguistics and Language

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