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Lewin, B.D. (1932). Human Speech. Some Observations, Experiments and Conclusions as to the Nature, Origin, Purpose and Possible Improvement of Human Speech. By Sir Richard Paget, Fellow of the Physical Society of London, Fellow of the Institute of Physics. The International Library of Psychology, Philosophy and Scientific Method. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company. 1930. 360 p.. Psychoanal Q., 1:350-355.
    

(1932). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 1:350-355

Human Speech. Some Observations, Experiments and Conclusions as to the Nature, Origin, Purpose and Possible Improvement of Human Speech. By Sir Richard Paget, Fellow of the Physical Society of London, Fellow of the Institute of Physics. The International Library of Psychology, Philosophy and Scientific Method. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company. 1930. 360 p.

Review by:
Bertram D. Lewin

Sir Richard Paget, the well known physicist, in a book written with distinction, has proved again the old contention that science is one. Beginning with a discussion in the first six chapters of the mechanical principles involved in voice production, he tells us of experimental attempts to apply these principles in the construction of machines to imitate the human voice. From the consideration of these "speaking machines", it was not difficult for the author to come to think of the human organs of speech, and to reflect on what it was that made of these organs, which serve such different purposes in other animals, a "speaking machine".

His theory of the origin of speech is a counterpart of his experimental studies. In these he had been using machines producing motions which imitated speech. His theory of how speech originated, put in briefest terms, is that speech originally imitated motions, particularly bodily motions, and this theory he calls the "gesture theory of language".

The sounds produced by the larynx, the phonational element in speech, make up the emotional part.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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