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Phonetic test sentences (Corresp.)

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A method has been devised for obtaining lists of words which use each sound of the English language (with American pronunciation) exactly once. The method is sufficiently automatic that it can be carried out by a person knowing no phonetics, or even by a digital computer. Trying the procedure with slight modifications produced several such lists, one of which could be transformed into a sentence: "Hum, thou whirring fusion; yes, Joy, pay each show; vie, thaw two wool dock bags." This sentence, or one of the lists, might be usable for testing telephone transmission, testing speech defects, or providing the pronunciation key at the bottom of the page of a dictionary. Care was taken to avoid the use of words which have different pronunciations in different parts of the U.S. or in different phrases. Although this list was composed in terms of an assumed list of 42 English sounds, it seems quite likely that anyone who considers a slightly different list of sounds to be the basic ones could do the same thing by applying this method, with appropriate modifications, to his list.

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Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 5 )