A Practical Introduction to Phonetics, Paperback

A Practical Introduction to Phonetics Paperback

Part of the Oxford Textbooks in Linguistics series

5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


An understanding of phonetics - of the mechanisms of speech, of how the sounds of language are produced, and of how they can be analysed and classified - is an essential acquirement for all those who have to deal with language and languages either theoretically or practically.

This book is an introduction to general phonetics which explores the entire range of human sounds, systematically covering all types of modification of speech (breath, voice, whisper, creak, etc.), articulation (the ways in which the air stream is finally modulated to generate specific types of sound), and prosodic features (stress, syllable, tone, intonation, etc.).

In addition, there is a chapter on sound systems - the ways in which particular languages utilize and systematize the universal sound-producing potential of man.

The entire range of phonetic categories is introduced in 124 'experiments', to be carried out in the readrer's own vocal tract.

In this way, the reader acquires a personal awareness of the principles of phonetic analysis and classification rather than a merely intellectual knowledge of them. This highly practical approach is informed throughout by recent research, particularly in the aerodynamics and acoustics of speech.

NEW TO THE SECOND EDITION: New format and text design Updated usage of phonetic symobls in line with the most recent International Phonetic Alphabet Chart (1996) Revisions to 9 figures Text updated and clarified for ease of reading Revised further reading section with recent publications and more attention to aerodynamics, acoustics, and prosodies New references to the most important new publications


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 248 pages, numerous figures
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Phonetics, phonology
  • ISBN: 9780199246359



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

LIKE I SAID: Specialists should never write introductory textbooks to any subject. Unless they're specialists in writing introductory textbooks to any subject. "Practical introduction" indeed.LATER: Okay, he gets an extra .5 for this: "Note, in parenthesis, that all basic phonetic experiments must be done with firm, definite articulation and with a reasonably powerful initiation. There is little to be learned from indecisive fumbling articulation and feeble kitten-like mewings."LATER STILL: Okay, and this thing of classing fricatives, approximants (including vowels like [i]), and resonants (open vowels) is intriguing and probably makes more sense ultimately than Ladefoged's way of doing it. I guess this is why you shouldn't review a book before you're done reading it:)AND FINALLY: Oh, damn it. You know what this is? It's Ladefoged II, providing an alternative look at a lot of judgment calls he makes, but more importantly, expanding and breaking down a lot of his descriptions. All the stuff I've been thinking about with possible phonemic distinctions, it's basically all here. I just spend twenty minutes contorting my lips and sticking my fingers down my throat. Second only to <i>A Course in Phonetics</i>, this is (it turns out) a must-read.

Review by

It has very good exercises about how to learn pronouncing the IPA phonemes. One of its ideas is that you can learn this by yourself. Also, good tips about the phonemes.

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