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Re: New book -- Communication acoustics: An introduction to Speech, Audio and Psychoacoustics

Title: untitled

Articulation has of course many meanings. By knowing your background, I believe you mean “articulation” as measure of speech quality over an acoustic channel, "articulation”. There is one chapter (17.6.1) about subjective methods and measures, which discusses 11 different methods, and discusses briefly also articulation. The next chapter (17.6.2) is about objective methods and measures, which mentions 8 different approaches, and discusses very briefly articulation index. The book does not talk too much about them, instead it talks for few pages about STI and ALcons, and also about methods based on auditory models, such as PESQ, POLQA, TOSQA, HASQI. Speech quality takes about 7 pages, sound quality in total about 31 pages, which means that the level of details is limited. 

I pasted below some excerpts from the book covering  articulation and articulation index. The process of producing speech, also called articulation, is discussed elsewhere in the book. 



Different subjective and objective methods have been developed to measure the quality of speech, indicating the articulation, intelligibility, and quality of the reproduction of timbre (Quackenbush et al., 1988). We will list some relevant techniques and later present some of them in greater detail.

17.6.1 Subjective Methods and Measures

  • Articulation. The term articulation here means the overall functioning of the speech trans- mission channel, not just the functioning of the speech organs, as discussed in Section 5.1.3. A measure for the quantity is obtained from a listening test, where the task of the subjects is to listen to nonsense phoneme sequences composed as a catenation of consonants (C) and vowels (V), such as /CV/ or /CVC/, and to report the sequences perceived. The percentage of correct answers gives the articulation score. The articulation index is the articulation score modified to obtain additivity, just as the values of loudness are additive but the values of loudness level are not (Fletcher, 1995).

  • Intelligibility and intelligibility score. The articulation test, but this time conducted with real words or sentences measures the intelligibility of the communication channel. The percentage of correct answers is the intelligibility score.

  • Rhyme test. The test uses rhyming words or one-syllable words where changing the first phoneme changes the meaning of the word, such as pay/may/day/say/way. The percentage of correct answers measured gives this measure of speech quality. Different variations of this test exist, differing in the application and realization. 

  • [continues]

17.6.2 Objective Methods and Measures
• Articulation index (AI). This was developed to measure speech intelligibility over a trans- mission channel that is assumed to be nearly linear, but, with disturbance caused by additive noise. The method assumes that the loss of articulation can be estimated by summing the AI values over 20 frequency bands, following roughly the Bark scale.
• Percentage articulation loss of consonants (%ALcons) (Peutz, 1971). This is a simple and relatively often used estimate of speech intelligibility in a room, auditorium, or other large space. The %ALcons value is computed from the basic acoustic parameters of the space. The method is described in Section 17.9.3.
• Speech transmission index (STI). The index is based on the modulation transfer function (MTF), and it can be used to estimate relatively reliably the effect of reverberation and additive noise of a transmission channel on speech intelligibility. The method is described in Sections 17.7.1 and 17.7.2, and STIPA, a simplified version of STI, is discussed in Section 17.7.4.


From: James Johnston <audioskeptic@xxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To: James Johnston <audioskeptic@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tuesday 25 November 2014 07:56
To: "AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: New book -- Communication acoustics: An introduction to Speech, Audio and Psychoacoustics

Hmm. What kind of treatment do you give articulation and articulation impairments?

On Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 3:08 AM, Pulkki Ville <ville.pulkki@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

Dear Colleague, 
[sorry if you get this message multiple times]

this is to inform that the book "Communication acoustics: An introduction to Speech, Audio and Psychoacoustics”  by Ville Pulkki and Matti Karjalainen is available as a hardcover and as an ebook from Wiley.

The book makes an introduction to the fields which concern some kind of  communication channel having the human as listener in the end, the fields together are called as “communication acoustics”. 

The main fields  discussed in the book are: 
Physics of sound / Signal processing / Human voice and speech / Music instruments and synthesis / Psychoacoustic testing / Psychoacoustic quantities / Spatial hearing / Auditory modeling / Sound reproduction / Time-frequency-domain audio processing / Speech technologies / Sound quality / Technical audiology

The book has 456 pages and 250 figures. Its table of contents can be viewed here: 

The book is primarily meant for Msc-level teaching in technical universities, but it also serves as a reference book for professionals in the field. 
In my university, the book is partially read on the first course in the master program on acoustics and audio technology, after which more detailed courses take place. 

If you are thinking that the book could be used in your teaching, you can request a copy for evaluation from Wiley. I am planning to publish also the slides that I use in my classes. 

All the best, 
Ville Pulkki
Tenure track assistant professor 
Department of Signal Processing and Acoustics
School of Electrical Engineering
Aalto University

James D. (jj) Johnston
Independent Audio and Electroacoustics Consultant