A View from Dresden onto the History of Speech Communication
Part 1: The historic acoustic-phonetic collection
Information Technology at the TU Dresden goes back to Heinrich Barkhausen (1881–1956), the “father of the electron valve“, who taught from 1911 to 1953. Speech research in a narrower sense started with the development of a vocoder in the 1950s. Walter Tscheschner (1927–2004) performed his extensive investigations on the speech signal using components of the vocoder. In 1969, a scientific unit for Communication and Measurement was founded in Dresden. It is the main root of the present Institute of Acoustics and Speech Communication. W. Tscheschner was appointed Professor of Speech Communication and started with research in speech synthesis and recognition, which today continues.
Numerous objects from the history of Speech Communication in Dresden, but also from other parts of Germany, are preserved at the historic acoustic-phonetic collection of the TU Dresden. Until the opening of Interspeech 2015, we will present interesting exhibits from the collection in this newsletter monthly. Today, we give an introduction.
The historic acoustic-phonetic collection of the TU Dresden consists of three parts:
- Objects that illustrate the development of acoustics and speech technology at the TU Dresden. The most interesting devices are speech synthesizers of various technologies.
- Objects illustrating the development of experimental phonetics from 1900 until the introduction of the computer. The items of this part were collected by D. Mehnert from different phonetics laboratories and rehabilitation units throughout Germany.
- Objects which were formerly collected at the Phonetics Institute of Hamburg University. This important collection, which was founded by Giulio Panconcelli-Calzia, was transferred to Dresden in 2005 in accordance with a contract due to the closing of the Hamburg institute.
The collection is presented in the Barkhausenbau at the main campus of the TU Dresden (cf. Figure 1). Recently, it is moving to new rooms which are more convenient for the presentation. The newly installed collection will be re-opened at the opportunity of Interspeech 2015.
Figure 1: The historic acoustic-phonetic collection of the TU Dresden
For this purpose, we cordially invite to a workshop on the history of speech communication, called HSCR2015, which will be held as a satellite event of Interspeech 2015 at September 4/5, 2015, in the Technical Museum of the City of Dresden. It is organized by the special interest group (SIG) on “The History of Speech Communication Sciences”, which is supported by the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA) and the International Phonetic Association (IPA).
More information on the workshop is presented on http://www.ias.et.tu-dresden.de/ias/systemtheorie-und-sprachtechnologie/hscr-2015/.
Rüdiger Hoffmann (Local Chair)