Silent letters and consonant pairs in Irish

Skaermbillede 2024 05 11 110307

I’ve had a fascination with Gaeilge, the Irish language, for a long time. Its long words and complicated writing, which together allow for such fun things as fheicfeadh [ɛcətʲ]. Oh! And its consonant mutation, one of the coolest features I think a language can have. Initial consonants changing based on prepositions, adverbs, gender, tenses, and so on. It’s so amazing and interconnected! Add to that, Irish’s long literary history and the modern attempts to save the language from extinction, and I just can’t help but love the language.

But I’m not here to write about any of that. I’m here to write about the Irish consonants, more precisely, the leathana and caola pairs, the two categories that most Irish …

The Story of Speech Synthesis: From Talking Tubes to Neural Networks, Part 1/3


What would we do without the helpful voices in our GPS systems guiding us to our destinations? How would we look up esoteric facts without the silky voices of the virtual assistants on our phones? And how would we remember our belongings as we leave the train without a considerate voice reminding us to do so? Artificial voices suffuse our day-to-day worlds and fulfill practical functions, but where do these voices come from, and how do you ‘synthesise’ speech?

    The first stones of the story of speech synthesis were laid over 200 years ago where mechanical devices produced speech sounds by emulating the complex structure of the human articulatory system. Technological innovations in the early 20th century then allowed for