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English Phonetics


Daniel Jones, M.A.


B.G. Teubner Leipzig und Berlin

First edition:

1918 (site)

Current edition:

second edition, 1922

An Outline of English Phonetics exists because It is now generally recognized that no adult foreigner is likely to acquire a really good pronunciation of the English language unless he makes a scientific study of English speech sounds and their distribution in connected speech. Remember, all of this was before Peyton Place (site).

The book has 220 pages and 131 illustrations, many of which are quite suprising, given the objective of the book. And each of the 785 paragraphs has been numbered! To me, the book seems to represent the state of the art of in the science of phonetics at the time. Daniel Jones was a professor of phonetics in London.

Paragraphs 146 to 153 deal with the letter k. Most of the paragraphs in this book have the abundance of information shown in paragraph 147.

This book contains many moustached mouths.

The palatogram is supposed to help the adult foreigner a good pronunciation of English speech sounds?!

Cardinal vowels (invented by Daniel Jones, listen to him (site)) are the best thing since sliced bread. But were they helpful to Adelheid Lauer who wrote her name in this book?

Didn't I see you at the station the other day?

The Kymograph (site) was used for recording air pressure and the motions of various parts of the organs of speech. To the rotating cylinder white paper is attached that is covered with black smoke! The pressure applied to the sensor (see below) translates into a white trace on the blackened paper. After the recording the paper is varnished. Hair spray had not yet been invented.

Several sensors.

The needle of the tambour moves with air pressure and scratches onto the blackened paper.

The output.