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English Phonetics and Phonology : An Introduction



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This is the 2nd edition with a publication date of 9/17/2012.
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The second edition of the popular English Phonetics and Phonology textbook has been extensively updated and expanded to offer greater flexibility for teachers and increased support for non-native speakers studying the sound systems of English. An ideal introduction to the study of the sound systems of English, designed for those with no previous knowledge of the subject Second edition now rigorously updated and expanded to reflect feedback from existing students and to increase support for non-native speakers of English Benefits from a useful introduction to articulatory phonetics, along with coverage of the main aspects of the phonological structure of present-day English Features a completely new chapter on the relationship between English spelling and pronunciation, extended coverage of intonation, and extensive revisions to sections on rhythm, word stress, intonation and varieties of English worldwide Includes invaluable chapter-by-chapter exercises, linked to sound files available on the accompanying website at

Author Biography

Philip Carr is Professor of Linguistics at Montpellier University. He is the author of Linguistic Realities (1990), Phonology (1993), and A Glossary of Phonology (2008). He is editor of Phonological Knowledge: Conceptual and Empirical Issues (with N. Burton-Roberts and G. Docherty, 2000) and Headhood, Elements, Specification and Contrastivity (with J. Durand and C. Ewen, 2005). He is co-director, with Jacques Durand, of the project The Phonology of Contemporary English.

Table of Contents

Preface for Teachers ix
Preface for Students xiii
Acknowledgements xvi

Figure 1 The organs of speech xvii
Figure 2 The International Phonetic Alphabet xviii

  1 English Phonetics: Consonants (i) 1

1.1 Airstream and Articulation 1
1.2 Place of Articulation 2
1.3 Manner of Articulation: Stops, Fricatives and Approximants 6
 Exercises 10

  2 English Phonetics: Consonants (ii) 12

2.1 Central vs Lateral 12
2.2 Taps and Trills 13
2.3 Secondary Articulation 13
2.4 Affricates 14
2.5 Aspiration 15
2.6 Nasal Stops 15
 Exercises 17

  3 English Phonetics: Vowels (i) 20

3.1 The Primary Cardinal Vowels 20
3.2 RP and GA Short Vowels 23
 Exercises 26

  4 English Phonetics: Vowels (ii) 28

4.1 RP and GA Long Vowels 28
4.2 RP and GA Diphthongs 30
 Exercises 33

  5 The Phonemic Principle 35

5.1 Introduction: Linguistic Knowledge 35
5.2 Contrast vs Predictability: The Phoneme 37
5.3 Phonemes, Allophones and Contexts 45
5.4 Summing Up 47
 Exercises 50

  6 English Phonemes 52

6.1 English Consonant Phonemes 52
6.2 The Phonological Form of Morphemes 55
6.3 English Vowel Phonemes 60
 Exercises 63

  7 English Syllable Structure 66

7.1 Introduction 66
7.2 Constituency in Syllable Structure 66
7.3 The Sonority Hierarchy, Maximal Onset and Syllable Weight 71
7.4 Language-Specific Phonotactics 76
7.5 Syllabic Consonants and Phonotactics 78
7.6 Syllable-Based Generalizations 80
7.7 Morphological Structure, Syllable Structure and Resyllabification 81
7.8 Summing Up 84
 Exercises 85

  8 Rhythm and Word Stress in English 87

8.1 The Rhythm of English
8.2  English Word Stress: is it entirely random? 87
8.3 English Word Stress: some general principles
8.4  Word Stress Assignment in Morphologically Simple Words 90
8.5 Word Stress Assignment and Morphological Structure 92
8.6 Compound Words 95
 Exercises 97

  9 Rhythm, Reversal and Reduction 99

9.1 More on the Trochaic Metrical Foot 99
9.2 Representing Metrical Structure 105
9.3 Phonological Generalisations and Foot Structure
9.4  The Rhythm of English Again: Stress Timing and Eurhythmy 107
 Exercises 115

10 English Intonation 116

10.1 Tonic Syllables, Tones and Intonation Phrases 116
10.2 Departures from the LLI Rule 119
10.3 IPs and Syntactic Units 127
10.4 Tonic Placement, IP Boundaries and Syntax 129
10.5 Tones and Syntax
10.6 Tonic Placement and Discourse Context 130

11 Grapho-phonemics: Spelling – Pronunciation Relations

11.1 Introduction
11.2 Vowel Graphemes and their Phonemic Values
11.3 Consonant Graphemes and their Phonemic Values

 12 Variation in English Accents 134

12.1 Introduction 134
12.2 Systemic vs Realizational Differences between Accents 135
12.3 Perceptual and Articulatory Space 141
12.4 Differences in the Lexical Distribution of Phonemes 145
 Exercises 147

13 An Outline of Some Accents of English 149

 1 London English 
 2 Tyneside English  3 Standard Scottish English 
 4 New York City English 
 5 Texan English
 6 Australian English
 7 Indian English 
 8 An Overview of Some Common Phenomena
  Found in Accent Variation 1  

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