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A talking head

Speaking with your hands
  [vote for,

Insert a hand into a mouth; not from the front, but from the rear. The fingers control the jaw and tongue. A blower is used to recreate the lung function for consonants, and a vibrating device gives the equivalent of a vocal chord sound for vowels.

The other hand controls pitch and blow rate.

Once mastered (if indeed it ever could be), a more difficult version uses bagpipe type bladders across a real simulated vocal chord, and the vocal chord is stretched to get pitch.

I think it would be fun just to get "Hello" out of it; never mind "A gottle of geer".

Ling, May 20 2008

Glove-Talk II http://hct.ece.ubc....esearch/glovetalk2/
Translates hand gestures to formants (without direct mechanism) [jutta, May 20 2008]

Early talking machines http://www.haskins....eads/simulacra.html
A lot of work in late 18th and early 19th century. This page links to some of the fascinating examples. [jutta, May 20 2008]


       //lung function for consonants//   

       Huh? Consonants are normally defined by tongue, lips, throat, etc., not by the lungs.
pertinax, May 20 2008

       But don't they all need the flow of air?
Ling, May 20 2008

       Yes, apart from 't Glottal Stop ....
8th of 7, May 20 2008

       A consonant is what happens when something in the vicinity of your mouth constricts or cuts the flow of air - your lungs are still doing much the same thing. More to the point, there is nothing you can do with your lungs which will determine whether you get a guttural stop (such as 'K') or a labial fricative (such as 'V').
pertinax, May 20 2008

       There's a long history of trying to build mechanical talking heads starting about 200 years ago. If you're not familiar with Baron von Kempelen, you're in for a treat. And yes, I'd love one of those as a consumer product!   

       I don't know if you're doing it, but people in general tend to underestimate the role of the resonant oral cavity. It's really the shape of the tongue against the roof of your mouth and your teeth, not the vocal chord pitch, that makes the difference between vowels.
jutta, May 20 2008

       Hah, Simulacra with bellows, no less. But no midget.
Ling, May 20 2008

       I propose a name: Bag-puppet. It should wear a kilt.
Noexit, May 20 2008

       With bonus points for getting it to speak with a Scottish accent?
Ling, May 21 2008


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