4th Edition

Practical English Phonetics and Phonology A Resource Book for Students

    344 Pages 88 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    344 Pages 88 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Routledge English Language Introductions cover core areas of language study and are one-stop resources for students.

    Assuming no prior knowledge, books in the series offer an accessible overview of the subject, with activities, study questions, sample analyses, commentaries and key readings – all in the same volume. The innovative and flexible ‘two-dimensional’ structure is built around four sections – Introduction, Development, Exploration and Extension – which offer self-contained stages for study.

    Revised and updated throughout, this fourth edition of Practical English Phonetics and Phonology:

    • presents the essentials of the subject and their day-to-day applications in an engaging and accessible manner;
    • covers all the core concepts of phonetics and phonology, such as the phoneme, syllable structure, production of speech, vowel and consonant possibilities, glottal settings, stress, rhythm, intonation and the surprises of connected speech;
    • incorporates classic readings from key names in the discipline;
    • outlines the sound systems of six key languages from around the world (Spanish, French, Italian, German, Polish and Japanese);
    • is accompanied by a brand-new companion website which hosts a collection of samples provided by genuine speakers of 25 accent varieties from Britain, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Singapore and West Africa, as well as transcriptions, further study questions, answer keys, links to further reading and numerous recordings to accompany activities in the book.

    This edition has been completely reorganised and new features include: updated descriptions of the sounds of modern English and the adoption of the term General British (GB); considerable expansion of the treatment of intonation, including new recordings; and two new readings by David Crystal and John Wells.

    Written by authors who are experienced teachers and researchers, this best-selling textbook will appeal to all students of English language and linguistics and those training for a certificate in TEFL.

    List of figures

    List of tables

    Audio recordings (on companion website)

    Prefaces and acknowledgements

    Phonetic symbols

    English phonemic transcription key

    A Introduction

    1 English worldwide

    2 Phoneme, allophone and syllable

    3 Connected speech and phonemic transcription

    4 How we produce speech

    5 Consonant possibilities

    6 English consonants

    7 Vowel possibilities

    8 English vowels

    9 English spelling

    B Development

    1 Phoneme and syllable revisited

    2 Features of connected speech

    3 Stress and rhythm

    4 Speech melody

    5 Pronunciation change

    6 Teaching a foreign language

    7 Learning a foreign language

    C Exploration

    1 Accent variation: General American

    2 Accents of the British Isles 1: England

    3 Accents of the British Isles 2: Celtic-influenced varieties

    4 World accent varieties 1: North America

    5 World accent varieties 2: the Southern Hemisphere

    6 World accent varieties 3: second-language varieties and creole-influenced speech

    D Extension

    1 Attitudes to accents (Daniel Jones)

    2 Preliminaries to teaching pronunciation (Peter Avery and Susan Ehrlich)

    3 English accents and their implications for spelling reform (J. C. Wells)

    4 Teaching the pronunciation of English (David Crystal)

    5 Syllabification and allophony (J. C. Wells)


    Further reading



    The International Phonetic Alphabet 307


    Beverley Collins (1938–2014) held lectureships in phonetics at the universities of Lancaster and Leiden, and was Visiting Professor at Ghent University. He was also a regular lecturer at the UCL Summer Course in English Phonetics.

    Inger M. Mees is Associate Professor in the Department of Management, Society and Communication at the Copenhagen Business School. She has also held posts at the universities of Leiden and Copenhagen. She is on the academic staff of the UCL Summer Course in English Phonetics.

    Paul Carley has held posts at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and the universities of Bedfordshire and Leicester. He is a regular lecturer on the UCL Summer Course in English Phonetics.

    Praise for the first edition:

    'Practical Phonetics and Phonology gathers together a far wider range of topics than other books on English phonetics. Many more accents of English are discussed, and we really learn about English as a world language. Experienced teachers of English and beginning students will all profit from this book.'

    Peter Ladefoged, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

    Praise for the third edition:

    ‘This is a book that I have used in teaching with great success. I am delighted to welcome this new and extended edition.’

    John Wells, Emeritus Professor of Phonetics, University College London, UK

    ‘The book is carefully planned, diligently structured and clearly written. The contents are up to date; they are geared to the needs of newcomers to phonetics and phonology. There is a strong emphasis on the practical side: the reader’s understanding is tested repeatedly throughout the book with more than 120 activities. Many sound samples are provided for close listening and analysis. A highly recommendable book!’

    Petr Rösel, University of Mainz, Germany

    Praise for the fourth edition:

    ‘This book cleverly combines the details of English phonetics with a first look at sounds in other languages. Its real strengths are the exercises provided at every step of the way and its brief but unequalled survey of accents of English (using recordings on the companion website). It will remain the best all-round introduction to phonetics.’

    Alan Cruttenden, The University of Oxford, UK

    ‘This classic text just keeps getting better. It is one of very few books that I keep constantly at my side as I author my own materials. It is rich in information, clearly written and easy to read. Most importantly, it is accompanied by audio recordings which exemplify the points made.’

    Richard Cauldwell, Speech in Action