The Sounds of Language: An Introduction to Phonetics, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Sounds of Language

An Introduction to Phonetics, 1st Edition

By Henry Rogers


368 pages

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Phonetics is the scientific study of sounds used in language- how the sounds are produced, how they are transferred from the speaker to the hearer and how they are heard and perceived. The Sounds of Language provides an accessible, general introduction to phonetics with a special emphasis on English.

Focusing on the phonetics of English, the first section allows students to get an overall view of the subject. Two standard accents of English are presented- RP (Received Pronunciation), the standard accent of England, and GA (General American), the standard accent throughout much of North America. The discussion is arranged so that students can read only the RP or GA portions, if desired. Sixteen additional accents of English spoken around the world are also covered to provide students with wider international coverage.

The author then moves on to introduce acoustics phonetics in an accessible manner for those without a science background. The last section of the book provides a detailed discussion of all aspects of speech with extensive examples from languages around the world.

Containing student-friendly features such as extensive exercises for practising the sounds covered in each chapter; a glossary of technical terms; instructions on how to write phonetic symbols; the latest International Phonetic Alphabet chart and a detailed list of English consonantal variants, The Sounds of Language provides an excellent introduction to phonetics to students of linguistics and speech pathology and students of English as a second language.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2. The basic sounds of English

3. English consonants

4. English vowels

5. English suprasegmentals

6. English accent differences

7. Sound waves, spectra, and resonance

8. The acoustics of English sounds

9. Vowels and semivowels

10. Place of articulation

11. Manner of articulation

12. Phonation

13. Airstream mechanisms

14. Syllables and suprasegmentals

About the Author

Henry Rogers is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Toronto. His previous publications include the books Theoretical and Practical Phonetics (1991) and Exercises in Articulatory Phonetics (1986).

About the Series

Learning about Language

Learning about Language is an exciting and ambitious series of introductions to fundamental topics in language, linguistics and related areas. The books are designed for students of linguistics and those who are studying language as part of a wider course.

This series was co-founded by Mick Short and Geoffrey Leech.  It is now edited by Brian Walker and Willem Hollmann who continue to consult with Mick Short.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Phonetics & Phonology