French, N.R., Steinberg, J.C. (1947). Factors governing the intelligibility of speech sounds. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 19, 90-119

The characteristics of speech, hearing, and noise are discussed in relation to the recognition of speech sounds by the ear. It is shown that the intelligibility of these sounds is related to a quantity called articulation index which can be computed from the intensities of speech and unwanted sounds received by the ear, both as a function of frequency. Relationships developed for this purpose are presented. Results calculated from these relations are compared with the results of tests of the subjective effects on intelligibility of varying the intensity of the received speech, altering its normal intensity-frequency relations and adding noise.