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Alvin Liberman and his colleagues at the Haskins Laboratory in New Haven created the techniques, the methods, and the insights appropriate to the study of speech perception. This volume brings together a carefully edited collecton of twenty-three of their most important research articles, along with an introduction by Liberman that charts the progress of the research—the errors as well as the hits—over the past five decades. Liberman has been the main analytic and synthesizing scientist in the development of a field that must hold a fascination for those interested, most generally, in the place of speech in the biological scheme of things. The more specific implications cover a broad range: at the one extreme, the problems associated with the machine production and recognition of speech; at the other, our understanding of how children learn to read its alphabetic transcriptions, and why some can't.

Major Sections: On the Spectrogram as a Visible Display of Speech. Finding the Cues. Categorical Perception. An Early Attempt to Put It All Together. A Mid-Course Correction. The Revised Motor Theory. Some Properties of the Phonetic Module. More about the Function and Properties of the Phonetic Module. Auditory vs. Phonetic Modes. Reading/Writing Are Hard Just Because Speaking/Listening Are Easy. Learning, Development, and Conceptual Change series


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262121927 474 pp. | 10.1 in x 7.3 in


$53.00 X | £41.00 ISBN: 9780262519878 474 pp. | 10.1 in x 7.3 in


  • In Speech, Alvin Liberman leaps from milestone to milestone in his four decades-long exploration of the speech module. It leads inevitably to the deep insight that the parity of speech perception and production hinges on articulatory gestures, which are ab initio unique to both speech and mankind.

    Willem Levelt

    Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

  • What Liberman has done in this volume is to weave together the history and scientific substance of the field; as such it is more than the set of findings, marvelous as these are: It succeeds in being a disquisition on the process of scientific discovery quite broadly. As the best bonus of all, Liberman has brought his incredible humor, grace, and style into the writing. This is a fabulous work; it will be of lasting interest to quite a wide scientific audience ranging from psychologists to cognitive scientists to philosophers of science.

    Lila Gleitman

    University of Pennsylvania