Background This chapter is dedicated to Christian Benoît, who almost single-handedly established visible speech as an important domain of research and application. During and after his residence in our laboratory for the academic year 1991–92, Christian and his endearing partner Elisabeth were an important part of our lives. We shared in their marriage and the births of their two children, as well as in many professional challenges and puzzles. We hope that this book provides a legacy for Christian’s family and friends, and helps maintain a memory of his personal and professional value. The human face presents visual information during speech production that is critically important for effective communication. While the voice alone is usually adequate for communication (and can be turned into an engaging instrument by a skilled storyteller), visual information from movements of the lips, tongue, and jaws enhances intelligibility of the message (as is readily apparent with degraded auditory speech). For individuals with severe or profound hearing loss, understanding visible speech can make the difference between communicating effectively with others or a life of relative isolation. Moreover, speech communication is further enriched by the speaker’s facial expressions, emotions, and gestures (Massaro 1998b, Chapters 6, 7, 8).
Cambridge University Press, 2012. 309-345 p.