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Displayed below are some selected recent viaLibri matches for books published in 1791

        Mechanismus der menschlichen Sprache nebst Beschreibung seiner sprechenden Maschine

      Vienna: Degen, 1791. No Dust Jacket. First Monograph on Speech Synthesis, the First Successful Speech Synthesizer Kempelen, Wolfgang von (1734-1804). Mechanismus der menschlichen Sprache nebst Beschreibung seiner sprechenden Maschine. 8vo. [20], 456pp. Engraved frontispiece portrait and 26 plates. Vienna: J. B. Degen, 1791. 200 x 125 mm. (uncut). Marbled boards, handwritten paper label c. 1791, spine a little sunned, light wear at hinges and corners. One signature (*) a little loose, otherwise a very fine copy. Ownership signature, dated 1812, on the front free endpaper. First Edition in German, issued simultaneously with the French edition, which was also published by Degen. The first monograph on speech synthesis, containing a description with 26 copperplate illustrations of von Kempelen's voice synthesizer, the forerunner not of sound recording devices such as the phonograph but of today's electronic computerized devices which actually synthesize speech. The work is also significant from a linguistic standpoint, as it contains a thorough analysis of phonetics (the study of the physical sounds of human speech) and discusses the nature and history of language. "Kempelen first discusses in general terms the origins of languages and then considered the mechanisms and physiology of speech generation . . . On the nature of language Kempelen argues that human speech and reason are connected and that they develop together over time and he rejects the theory that all languages come from a single (divine) source. He studies the function of the organs of speech and discovers that the cavities over the larynx play the most important role in acoustic articulation" (Gedeon, Science and Technology in Medicine, p. 139). "After a detailed examination of the organs of speech von Kempelen devised a hollow oval box divided into two parts and fitted with hinges which made it like jaws. This box caught the sound coming from a tube connected to a bellows. By opening and shutting the jaws, the sounds a, o, and u could be produced, then the sound e could be rendered imperfectly but there was no provision for i. "After several years of investigation the inventor succeeded in securing by similar means the consonant sounds p, m, l, and by means of the vowels and consonants he could compose syllables and words such as maman, papa, aula, lama and mulo. But the sounds of letters of similar pronunciation became mixed. . . . Von Kempelen overcame these difficulties in imitating the human voice by means of a single mouth fitted with a glottis. The mouth was made up of a funnel or a bell-shaped device made of stretchable rubber. . . . To this mouth he added a nose made up of two tin tubes connected to it. When the two tubes were opened and the mouth was shut, a perfect m sound could be produced, and when one was open and the other shut, the n sound was obtained. . . . [Kempelen's machine] succeeded in reproducing entire words and phrases such as opera, astronomy, Constantinopolis, secundus, Romanorum Imperator semper augustus, etc. . . . Goethe heard it and reports that it was "able to say some childish words very nicely" (p. 322). Von Kempelen is best known as the inventor of the "Mechanical Turk," a chess-playing "automaton" that was in reality a mechanical illusion, operated by a human chess master concealed within the machine. Guyot, Liste litt?ire sur les sourds-mu?, p. 7. Strandh, History of the Machine, pp. 130, 178.

      [Bookseller: Jeremy Norman's ]
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        The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL. D., Comprehending an Account of His Studies and Numerous Works, in Chronological Order; a Series of His Epistolary Correspondence and Conversations with Many Eminent Persons; and Various Original Pieces of His Composit

      Henry Baldwin / Charles Dilly London: Henry Baldwin / Charles Dilly, 1791. First Edition. First Edition. Quarto, two volumes. Second state, volume one with corrected spelling (p. 135: "give" for "gve" and those stated by Pottle not mentioned in the "corrections") and cancels (pp. 271-274); volume two with misnumbered pages (pp. 229, 408, 497, 504, 555, 585, 586) and cancels (pp. 29, 301), as well as hyphens (p. 288) and typographical errors (pp. 78, 92, 275, 352, 562). All plates present, including the frontispiece. A few leaf stubs are present, but not placed at the correct cancels. Contemporary re-backed full calf, seven spine compartments, one in green and one in red, with gilt titles and designs, original endpapers, all page edges cut. A monument to biography, reprinted several times. Boswell was already a prolific author by the time of publication, but "The Life" propelled him to even higher levels of recognition. Boswell and Johnson were acquainted for a while, having met, coincidentally, in a book store. But in 1784 Johnson died, seven years before his life went into print. Both volumes Very Good plus, with moderate foxing throughout, light shelfwear, and a few tiny closed tears and creases. Pottle 79, 1967.

      [Bookseller: Royal Books, Inc. ]
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        La divina commedia di dante alighieri nuovamente corretta e spiegata e difesa da f.b.l.m.c. roma, preso antonio fulgoni, 1791.

      Tre volumi di cm. 26,5, pp. (2) xxviii, 502 (2); (2) 523 (1); (2) xii, 541 (1). Frontespizi incisi con grande vignetta centrale e 3 tavole fuori testo. Solida ed elegante legatura coeva in piena pergamena rigida con titoli in oro su tasselli ai dorsi. Sguardie e tagli marmorizzati. Poche e leggere bruniture a qualche sezione di carte, ma esemplare genuino e molto bello. Celebre e stimata edizione, la prima in assoluto della Divina Commedia stampata a Roma. Cfr. Mambelli (78): ""...L'autore del commento √® il frate Baldasare Lombardi, Minor Conventuale, il quale per questa magnifica edizione, divenuta rara... pens√≤ che si dovesse ritornare alle antiche stampe e principalmente all'edizione del Nidobeato (1478)...""; De Batines I, 119; Gamba 397. Si unisce: Aggiunta alla Divina Commedia di Dante Alighieri stampata in Roma nell'anno 1791 in tre tomi in quarto. Esame delle correzioni... S.n.t. Opuscolo di pp. 16, in-quarto.

      [Bookseller: Studio Bibliografico Benacense]
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