9780415590549

English Phonetics: Twentieth-Century Developments

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780415590549

  • ISBN10:

    041559054X

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 9/19/2013
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Summary

By the end of the nineteenth century, phonetics was increasingly recognized as a valid scientific discipline. While early experimental and instrumental research in speech science was concentrated in Germany, France, and the USA, in Britain-thanks to the pioneering work of scholars such as Alexander Melville Bell, Isaac Pitman, Alexander J. Ellis, and Henry Sweet-the emphasis was on what is now known as articulatory phonetics. (See further Phonetics of English in the Nineteenth Century(Routledge, 2006), compiled by the editors of the current collection.) These pioneers regarded their task as essentially one of observation and description. Although they were perfectly prepared to utilize scientific findings where these might assist their investigations, they did not consider experimental work to be their prime objective. The twentieth century saw the consolidation of previous efforts. Many of these developments were centred round the work of what has come to be called the British School of phonetics under the leadership of Daniel Jones, Professor of Phonetics at University College London. (Jones's seminal contributions are documented in another set edited by Collins and Mees; see Daniel Jones: Selected Works(Routledge, 2002).) The present collection concentrates largely on the work of Jones's colleagues at University College, and also documents how the British School extended its influence further afield-to Europe, North America, Japan and, effectively, worldwide. Although articulatory phonetics provides the thread running through the publications-now very difficult to obtain-that have been brought together in this collection, they vary widely in their content. This is consistent with the view of Jones and his colleagues that phonetics should be considered as a practical science, with many potential applications helping to provide solutions to problems encountered in the real world. An area of prime importance was the teaching of pronunciation to language learners, and in particular the acquisition of English pronunciation by non-natives. Apart from works devoted to second-language acquisition, and in particular to the teaching of English as an acquired language, this emphasis also led to the production of important English pronunciation dictionaries, including the Afzelius dictionary reproduced as Volume I of this collection. Other areas covered in the following volumes include key foundational work on dialectology, intonation theory and practice, the growth of broadcasting and the influence of radio (especially the BBC) on the establishment of a de factostandard southern British English pronunciation. Making readily available materials which have until now been very difficult for phoneticians, phonologists, and other linguists to locate and use, English Phonetics: Twentieth-Century Developmentsis a veritable treasure-trove. The gathered works are reproduced in facsimile, giving users a strong sense of immediacy to the texts and permitting citation to the original pagination. And with a substantial introduction, newly written by the editors, the collection is destined to be welcomed as a vital reference and research resource.

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