Sunday 30 March 2014

quasihomophonous lacquer

This is what I found in an advert by a German DIY company:

credit: Bauhaus

Saturday 29 March 2014

short story stressed

credit: Harry Clarke

"The Tell-Tale Heart" is a short story by Edgar Allen Poe.

As you know, not each and every short story is a short story in the technical sense.

My question to you, dear follower who art an indigenous speaker of the English tongue, is this: What is the stress pattern of the term short story in my initial sentence?

Friday 28 March 2014

'angry' Ken Livingstone

One of my followers in a comment on my blog post of the 11th of March writes that he's heard Ken Livingstone pronounce angry as [ɛəŋgri] with a word-initial diphthong, whereas another commentator believes the initial sound to be of a fairly steady-state type. In case you have no access to the sound file in question, here is a snippet. KL says (and mind the glottal replacement in get, which becomes [gɛʔ]): "[...] or get angry or unpleasant [...]".

 credit: BBC

Tuesday 18 March 2014

John Wright - Speaking English

When looking into one of my drawers I found a long-forgotten magnetic tape:

I'm going to digitise it to preserve it. Does anybody have any details on the author John Wright?

Update: See comments to this blog entry!

Tuesday 11 March 2014

GIM 8 - 2nd blog

Two other variants are set off from General British: CGB and RGB.

CGB stands for Conspicuous General British. Who uses this variant? According to Cruttenden it is
to be associated with upper-class families, with public schools and with professions which have traditionally recruited from such families, e.g. officers in the navy and in some army regiments (81).
It is "commonly considered to be 'posh'" (81).
What are typical phonetic features? Here's a selection:
1. use of the KIT vowel in unstressed word-final position as in 'there's a universit/ɪ/ in our lovel/ɪ/ cit/ɪ/';
2. a very open word-final schwa as in 'wait[ɐ]', 'moth[ɐ]';
3. the ash vowel is frequently diphthongised as in [mɛəd] for 'mad'.

RGB is a hybrid variant mixing GB with a few regional features. Cruttenden concedes that the term should actually be used in its plural form - RGBs. In comparison with CGB, RGB is a cover term for regional variants rather than a marker of class or, in Cruttenden's words: "[...] it is useful to have such a term as RGB to describe the type of speech which is basically GB except for the presence of a few regional characteristics which may well go unnoticed even by other speakers of GB" (81). One of his examples is the vocalisation of dark l, which "passes virtually unnoticed in an otherwise fully GB accent" (82).

Monday 3 March 2014

GIM 8 is available

The new, eighth edition of Gimson's Pronunciation of English by Alan Cruttenden is available now.

One of the eye-catchers will certainly be the replacement of RP (= Received Pronunciation) by the more neutral term GB (= General British). The latter was first mentioned in an academic publication by Jack Windsor Lewis in his 1972 book A Concise Pronouncing Dictionary of British and American English:

It took more than 40 years for the term GB to appear in another important book on the topic.
The reason why Cruttenden adopted GB as a term is summarised on p. 80, where he states that it was because of the "narrow use by many of the name RP, and the frequent hostility to it, the accent described in this book has been changed to General British (GB)." He then adds that "it has to be made clear that [...] it is not a different accent that is being described, but an evolved and evolving version of the same accent under a different name."

More about the new edition in a future blog.

Sunday 2 March 2014

Routledge announced a new book:

credit: Routledge

The author is Dr. Adam Brown, senior lecturer at the Auckland Institute of Studies, NZ.
credit: AIS

Here's the table of contents:
Symbols for English Sounds
Section I: Phonetics
1: Introduction
2: Accents of English worldwide
3: Airstreams and the vocal cords
4: Cardinal vowels
5: Vowels
6: The vocal organs and consonant classification
7: Plosives and nasals
8: Fricatives and affricates
9: Approximants
10: Non-English sounds
11: Syllable structure
12: Phonemes
13: Accent differences
14: Phonology
15: Weakening and linking
16: Assimilation and elision
17: Connected speech processes
18: Pausing and speed
19: Word stress
20: Tone groups
21: Tones
22: Rhythm
23: Voice quality
Section II: Pronunciation Teaching
24: Targets
25: Integration
26: The effectiveness of pronunciation teaching
27: Motivation and affect
28: Fossilization
29: First language influence
30: Importance
31: Spelling: History
32: Spelling: Literacy
33: Nonverbal communication
34: Listening
35: Testing
Section III: Sample Exercises
Sample exercises
Answers to exercises

The book will be available by the end of March (so they say).
Update 1: I ordered the book a couple of days ago. It's supposed to arrive on Monday. 
Update 2: The book has arrived.