14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

The Two Heads of the Abbé

Antonella Giannini

Istituto Universitario Orientale, Napoli, Italy

At the end of the eighteenth century in three different European countries, three talking machines were constructed. One of them was made by abbe Mical. Up to now in phonetic literature only a few and hasty lines have generally been granted to this invention, even though, in our opinion, it is more representative than the other two developed at the same time. This work tries to fill in this blank space. We shall make use of occasional and reliable clues we have found to describe in detail both the ingenious abbe's machine and the reasons that contributed to send it into oblivion. In addition we shall try to advance a hypothesis on the working mechanism. A comparison will be made with those made by Kratzenstein and von Kempelen.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Giannini, Antonella (1999): "The two heads of the abbé", In ICPhS-14, 2533-2536.