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Construction and performance of a machine for recognizing spoken connected words are described. In this machine, a new method for connected word recognition, namely inverse dynamic programming (DP) matching, is adopted. Two kinds of DP matching techniques are used in the inverse DP matching, one of which is the usual DP matching and the other is matching performed in a time reverse mode, starting from the end of speech. Combining the similarities obtained by these two kinds of matching, the similarities between input speech and word sequences are computed. Also a technique for rejecting candidates is used in the machine to reduce computation amount. The machine performance is tested by 1400 samples of connected digits. The recognition rate of 99.3% is obtained.