CReSS Books 


Manuscript #3, “Area functions, formant frequencies, and spatial phase” by R. S. McGowan has been released and is for sale. Here is a sample:
Manuscript #3 title abstract introduction

The cost of this manuscript is $10. You can make your purchase below under “Ordering” below.


Manuscript #2, “Second formant behavior in the presence of non-local and local constrictions” by R. S. McGowan. Here is a sample:

Manuscript #2 title abstract introduction

You receive full credit toward the purchase of a print version of “Acoustics of Speech Production” until the end of 2019, if you purchase manuscript #2 for $10. (Only on this website and not the Harvard Book Store.) You can also purchase an electronic version of “Acoustics of Speech Production” with a $5 discount with the new manuscript #2. See below for purchase options under “Ordering”.


Manuscript #1, “Asymmetry between the raising and lowering of formant frequencies with local cross-sectional area changes” by R. S. McGowan, which is offered for free.


We also have started a section for the purchase of “Preowned Books”. See the end of this page


Acoustics of Speech Production

by R. S. McGowan



We continue with free shipping within the U.S. and $10 off international shipping indefinitely, while supplies last. You can still order from the Harvard Book Store for the U. S., but they charge for shipping.
Please go to Special Shipping of Print Copy for these offers.


Sample of the Book

Acoustics of Speech Production sample


About the Book

Acoustics of Speech production provides an understandable description of the fundamental acoustics of the vocal tract. There are many simulations with graphical presentations of acoustic wave motion and other phenomena. The book also relates this physical description to previous descriptions that use electrical analogs. Acoustics is developed as a part of the broader study of fluid mechanics, so that we are able to to relate acoustic sources, such as the voice source to the propagation of acoustic waves in the vocal tract. The book also contains two new research results regarding the development of speech in young children and on the physics of vocal fold vibration.


What readers are saying

Dr. McGowan’s excellent book is aimed at readers with little or no knowledge of calculus — ideal for beginners, but also valuable reading for professionals. It is neither a traditional text nor a reference, but a narrative description of a journey through increasingly sophisticated models of the vocal tract. The physics and the mathematical foundations of vocal tract acoustics are expounded progressively and simultaneously with the help of an elementary finite difference approximation. The journey starts with one-dimensional acoustics in a uniform tube, developed with the aid of a simple mass-spring analogy, and continues through discussions of tubes of variable geometry, with side branches and small attached resonators. Damping of sound by mechanisms within the tract and by radiation from the mouth are discussed. These models are typically represented in terms of quite complex formulae, most of which can be derived using the author’s finite difference method, and are illustrated extensively by graphical output from numerical simulations. The book ends with more speculative treatments of the nonlinear mechanics of air and wall motions in sections of the vocal tract where the acoustic model breaks down, including an account of the aeroacoustics of the glottis. Highly recommended!

Michael Howe, Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Mechanics, Boston University


This is the most comprehensive book on speech acoustics, the science of how sound is created and transmitted through one of the most peculiar products of evolution, the vocal tract. The author gently guides the reader through the breadth of different acoustic configurations, treating each with care, and always starting from basic principles. In earlier chapters, the author uses discretization to explain the most important concepts for students who have yet to master the calculus. The rest of the book can be understood as the reader simultaneously learns the requisite mathematics. This book will be essential not only for phoneticians and phonologists, but also for all those applying machine learning methods to speech recognition, as this book points to the origin of the correlations in the speech signal learnt by their methods.

Khalil Iskarous, Associate Professor of Linguistics, University of Southern California


In this important book Richard McGowan provides a rigorous, but accessible, exploration of the physics underlying the acoustics of speech production. If you want to enhance your understanding of critical topics from mass-spring systems to fluid dynamics and aeroacoustics, then I encourage you to get a copy of it as soon as possible and start digging in. McGowan is masterful in his ability to guide you along the way, providing a wealth of explanation, supporting illustrations, and mathematical foundations.

Philip Rubin, Chief Executive Officer Emeritus, Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, CT



Print Copy

Within the United States you can purchase a traditional print book that will be shipped to you by Harvard Book Store. Just use the hotlink below to be directed to the book on the Harvard Book Store website priced at $47.50  plus shipping.

Harvard Book Store site:


Special Shipping of Print Copy

For those in the United States who would like a copy signed by the author, the shipping is $7.00. Sales tax is applied for Massachusetts shipping addresses as well.


For free shipping within the United States, use the “free shipping” button below.

For those outside the United States who would like a traditional print book, please contact us at mcgowan DOT richard DOT s AT gmail DOT com. We will respond with a price quote that includes shipping cost, which can be a substantial cost. After we have negotiated a price by email we will add a coded price option for your use. We currently offer a $10 discount on international shipping


eBook and Manuscripts

Both outside the United States and within the United States you can purchase an electronic version of the book as a PDF file. Quantity discounts are available here as well. The link to the ebook will appear on your email purchase receipt.

For both Manuscripts #2 and #3, Second formant behavior in the presence of non-local and local constrictions”  and “Area functions, formant frequencies, and spatial phase” use:


For Manuscript #3, “Area functions, formant frequencies, and spatial phase” use:


For Manuscript #2, “Second formant behavior in the presence of non-local and local constrictions” use:


For a single eBook and Manuscript #2 use:


For a single eBook use:


For five copies of the eBook use:


For ten copies of the eBook use:


Preowned Books

Prices include shipping within the U.S. Condition of the books is excellent, unless otherwise noted.

Preowned Books