I have been working with the SAY command today and coupled with my experience using it on the Commodore 64 here are my notes.
Historical documentation can be found here:
Here are some excerpts I found helpful:
III. THE EFFECTS OF PUNCTUATION
S.A.M. understands tour punctuation marks. They are the hyphen, comma, period,
and question mark.
The hyphen (-) serves to mark clause boundaries by inserting a short pause in the
speech. It also has other uses to be discussed later. The comma marks phrase
boundaries and inserts a pause approximately double that of the hyphen. The
question-mark and period mark the end ot sentences. The period inserts a pause
and also causes the pitch to tall. The question-mark also inserts a pause, but it
causes the pitch to rise. Notice that not all questions should end with a question-
mark (rising pitch), only those that require a yes-or-no answer. (“Are we hiking
today?” rises; “Why are
IV. FINAL NOTES ON PHONETIC IN PUT
S.A.M. is capable ot speaking only 2.5 seconds ot speech without a break (this is
the size ot his “breath”). It the string to be spoken exceeds this, S.A.M. will insert
short breaks every 2.5 seconds. S.A.M. always breaks at punctuation marks in
anticipation ot the following phrase. So, it you don’t like where S.A.M. broke up a
phrase, you can specify your own breaks with hyphens. An example of this is: “I use
the telephone - to call out of town".
S.A.M. uses the spaces between words to makes his sentence-breaking decisions.
It a single word requires more than 2.5 seconds to say, S.A.M. will not be able to
insert his own breaks and will therefore be unable to say the word.
In summary, the procedures outlined above may seem complex, but this is because
they were presented in fine detail. In reality, the steps become automatic and you
will soon be able to type in phonetics almost as fast as you can type English text.