Library Section on Speech Science

Beginners Books


The Speech Chain (Peter Denes, Elliot Pinson, 1993). For over 25 years,"The Speech Chain" has been regarded as the classic, easy-to-read introduction to the complexities of spoken communication. The book has now been thoroughly revised and updated to give a state-of-the-art description of each link in the speech chain - from the speaker's production of words to the transmission of sound to the listener's perception. It provides a foundation for understanding the essential aspects of linguistics, acoustics and anatomy, and explores recent research developments, such as the digital processing of speech and the use of computers for the generation of artificial speech and for speech recognition. This interdisciplinary account should be accessible to persons with no previous exposure to the study of language. [W H Freeman, ISBN: 0716723441]. Available at and


New Elements of Acoustic Phonetics (Peter Ladefoged, 1995). Explains the basic aspects of acoustics that are important for the study of speech. Six chapters of the 1962 edition are little changed, but the seventh is expanded to account for new insights into the nature of speech, such as resonances of the vocal tract and how formants are related to different cavities. New chapters explain how computers store sound waves, some basic aspects of computer speech processing, and the two most common equations for analyzing speech sounds. [University of Chicago Press; ISBN: 0226467643] Available at and

Intermediate Books


Speech Science Primer : Physiology, Acoustics, and Perception of Speech (Gloria Borden, Katherine Harris, 1994). Providing a comprehensive view of speech science for beginning speech majors, this text gives a thorough yet understandable look at the production, acoustics and perception of speech. It treats basic areas of speech science, such as basic speech acoustics, instrumentation and speech perception with regard to theories and practical applications. This third edition presents recent versions of theories of speech motor control and perception. It takes into account many of the advances and changes in devices and techniques since 1983, especially with regard to the use of computers. The sections on theories of speech perception and research tools have been revised, updated and reorganized. Some figures have been redrawn and new figures added, to show the relationships between tongue positions, glottal stops and oral articulation, and array of techniques and instruments available for studying speech production. Due to the broad perspective taken, the work could also serve as a reference text for graduate students. [Williams & Wilkins, ISBN: 0683009443]. Available at and


Signals and Systems for Speech and Hearing (Stuart Rosen, Peter Howell, 1990). This text is a thorough introduction to the concepts of signals and systems analysis that play a role in the speech and hearing sciences, using only minimal mathematics. Written in an informal yet informative style, it provides a comprehensive course for the student and also an excellent reference guide for the specialist. [Academic Press London, ISBN: 0125972318]. Available at and


Techniques in Speech Acoustics (Jonathan Harrington and Steve Cassidy, 1999). This book is the first sensible attempt at bringing concepts and techniques in digital signal processing to a linguistic audience. Unlike all engineering books in signal processing, it doesn't start with a chapter on mathematical concepts! The first part of the book covers aspects of the source-filter decomposition of speech, spectrographic analysis, the acoustic theory of speech production and acoustic phonetic cues. The second part is based on computational techniques for analysing the acoustic speech signal including digital time and frequency analyses, formant synthesis, and the linear predictive coding of speech. The book is intended for use on undergraduate and postgraduate speech acoustics and experimental phonetics courses; it is also aimed at researchers from phonetics, linguistics, computer science, psychology and engineering who wish to gain an understanding of the basis of speech acoustics and its application to fields such as speech synthesis and automatic speech recognition. [Kluwer Academic Publishers, ISBN: 0792358228]. Available at and

Advanced Books


The Handbook of Phonetic Sciences (William Hardcastle, John Laver (eds), 1999). Since Malmberg's classic Manual of Phonetics published in 1968 there has been no up-to-date account of the phonetic sciences. This handbook brings together chapters on the biological foundations of speech and hearing such as brain functions underlying speech, organic variation of the vocal apparatus, auditory neural processing, articulatory processes together with chapters on theoretical and applied areas. There are papers on experimental phonetics, including aerodynamics of speech, speech signal processing, laboratory techniques and acoustic phonetics as well as discussions of speech technology applications in areas such as automatic recognition of speech and speakers, and speech synthesis. A section on theoretical approaches in phonetic sciences addresses aspects of spoken word recognition, coarticulation, articulatory/acoustic/auditory relationships, models of speech production and laryngeal function. The final section on linguistic phonetics covers descriptive criteria in genreal phonetics and the relationship between phonetics and other areas of linguistics such as phonology. [Blackwell Publishers; ISBN: 063121478X]. Available at and


Acoustic Phonetics (Kenneth Stevens, 1999). This work presents a theory of speech-sound generation in the human vocal system. The comprehensive acoustic theory serves as one basis for defining categories of speech sounds used to form distinctions between words in languages. The author begins with a review of the anatomy and physiology of speech production, then covers course mechanisms, the vocal art tract as an acoustic filter, relevant apsects of auditory psychophysics and physiology, and phonological representations. In the remaining chapters he presents a detailed examination of vowels, consonants, and the influence of context on speech sound production. Although he focuses mainly on the sounds of English, he touches briefly on sounds in other languages. The book is designed as a reference for speech scientists, speech pathologists, linguists interested in phonetics and phonology, psychologists interested in speech perception and production, and engineers concerned with speech processing applications. [MIT Press, ISBN: 026219404X]. Available at and


Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. The premier journal for scientific work in speech perception.

Speech Communication. From Elsevier Science.

Reference Material

Speech Science resources from MacQuarie University. Useful resources about speech science, phonetics, technology and more.


Would you like to recommend a journal, book or reference material? Send us a message.

Copyright © 2023 Mark Huckvale

Last modified: 11:17 19-Oct-2014