English Pronunciation & Accents
Geo-social Applications of the Natural Phonetics & Tonetics Method
University of Venice
The first part gives the ‘International’ accent of English. This is not meant to be a simplified version for foreigners speaking to other foreigners, so often falsely presented as the solution for intercultural communication. The International accent of English, on the contrary (both in its current and native-like versions), is the sublimation of the American and British neutral (or ‘standard’) accents. This avoids the inconvenient peculiarities of both these accents, while privileging their common and most general features, reducing thus their differences and real or seeming exceptions with respect to its current and highly unsatisfactory spelling.
The neutral American and British accents are always given along, for comparisons and useful information, as well: Vowels, Consonants (including The ‘whole truth’ on English R), Stress and Intonation (including Paralinguistics). There follow a few chapters with phonotonetic transcriptions: Conversations, Literary texts, and the IPA sample text. The ‘mediatic’ American (or ‘General American’) and British (or ‘Estuary English’) accents are also fully treated in separate chapters. The second part - with 32 linguistic maps and more than 300 clear (though rigorous and extensive) illustrations for vowels, consonants and intonation - describes more than 200 accents: 121 native (up to 146 with variants), 63 bilingual, and 30 foreign accents. They are so distributed: North America: Canada & USA (including 13 Native-American accents). British Isles: England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Other accents: Australia, New Zealand & South Africa. Second language: Caribbean, Far East, India, Africa, Malta, Gibraltar, the Falkands, and Foreign accents.
We can safely say that the book provides the most accurate descriptions of English accents ever done, in almost 900 pages, thanks to very many clear figures and precise transcriptions, with no ambiguities, that overcome the too obvious limits of the official IPA conception and symbols, sadly designed just for phonemic intralinguistic purposes, not for more useful interlinguistic and diaphonemic purposes.
11 Appendices complete the book with a concise international-pronunciation dictionary with about 2200 selected words, and 6000 homophonic words; more on vowels, consonants, intonation, voices, and diachronic stages. A selected annotated bibliographical review to safely direct readers. The author - Natural Phonetics & Tonetics, i.e. articulatory, auditory and functional, at the University of Venice, Italy - was trained in the British phonetic tradition.
ISBN 9783862885916 (Hardbound). LINCOM Studies in Phonetics 13. 882pp. 2015.