In speech recognition and speech coding, the values of at least two features of an utterance are measured during a series of time intervals to produce a series of feature vector signals. A plurality of single-dimension prototype vector signals having only one parameter value are stored. At least two single-dimension prototype vector signals having parameter values representing first feature values, and at least two other single-dimension prototype vector signals have parameter values representing second feature values. A plurality of compound-dimension prototype vector signals have unique identification values and comprise one first-dimension and one second-dimension prototype vector signal. At least two compound-dimension prototype vector signals comprise the same first-dimension prototype vector signal. The feature values of each feature vector signal are compared to the parameter values of the compound-dimension prototype vector signals to obtain prototype match scores. The identification values of the compound-dimension prototype vector signals having the best prototype match scores for the feature vectors signals are output as a sequence of coded representations of an utterance to be recognized. A match score, comprising an estimate of the closeness of a match between a speech unit and the sequence of coded representations of the utterance, is generated for each of a plurality of speech units. At least one speech subunit, of one or more best candidate speech units having the best match scores, is displayed.