Saturday, 22 January 2011

Gordon Frederick Arnold *22 Jan 1920

credit: The Phonetician 81 (2000)
Gordon Frederick Arnold was born on the 22nd of January 1920 in Braintree, UK. After his graduation at UCL in 1947 he was appointed Assistant Lecturer, then promoted Lecturer in 1950 and Reader in 1966. Arnold retired early in 1982. He died on the 30th of December 1999.

Arnold published a few textbooks on English phonetics:
  • 1957 - Stress in English Words (North-Holland)
  • 1961 - Intonation of Colloquial English (Longman; with J. D. O'Connor)
  • 1965 - English Pronunciation Practice (U. of London Pr.; with A. C. Gimson)
  • 1971-1973 - Say it with Rhythm (Longman; with O. M. Tooley)
My thanks go to Martin J. Ball for reminding me of the title marked purple in the list.


    1. And surely not to forget the very influential 'Intonational of Colloquial English' by J D O'Connor and G F Arnold, 1973 - I still have my well-thumbed copy from college days!

    2. @Martin: How very negligent of me! The book was and still is very dear to me.

    3. Gordon Arnold was a likable man. He didnt publish prolifically aside from in the books you mention. Over the years he did occasional thoughtful reviews and short articles for mf/JIPA including a genial one in 1971 of the BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names. His 1966 piece 'Concerning the theory of plosives' was so admired by W. E. Jones & John Laver that they reprinted it in their 1973 collection Phonetics in Linguistics. He was responsible for most of the drills for the intonation book wisely making sure that they all had mini contexts. He was highly valued at UCL for his administrative abilities and by the seventies agreed to devote himself chiefly to exercising them — of course to the loss of phonetic studies.

    4. @JWL: Thanks for these valuable additional remarks.

    5. Gordon was one of my teachers in the early 70s and a congenial, helpful and kind colleague later. Those were halcyon days in the dept. at UCL (or UC as it was generally called then).

      Gordon was one of the best nonsense word producers I have ever come across. 2.00pm on Monday afternoons was a time to tremble in your shoes as you sat amazed at his articulatory fireworks.