These articles are intended as a text and reference collection of some fundamental work in a field that has recently begun to expand in new directions. In Professor Lehiste's words, “The time appears to be right for a stocktaking in the field of acoustic phonetics..... in a very real sense we are witnessing the consolidation of the achievements of a generation of researchers-some representative papers of which are assembled in this collection.”
Professor Lehiste has chosen the papers that are recognized as pioneering works in acoustic phonetics. For the most part, they are the “first editions” of ideas that have taken hold and have been developed in subsequent investigations. Thus they represent the original thinking of scholars who have made important advances, rather than a text of accumulated knowledge of the subject. The essays touch on many aspects of the field: acoustic structure of vowels, diphthongs, stop constants, fricatives, nasals, laterals, trills, glides, and prosodic features. Some basic articles using speech synthesis as a research technique deal with the English language. Some have been included because of their limited availability to students in the field.
Readings in Acoustic Phonetics is intended primarily for students or professional linguists who come to acoustic phonetics with a background in general linguistics and articulatory phonetics. Technical in nature, the book should be useful to those interested in the evolution of acoustic phonetics and will help contribute to the overlap of knowledge among acoustic engineers, physicists, linguistics, and speech scientists which makes successful cooperation among them possible.