Describing Spoken English: An Introduction

Describing Spoken English: An Introduction

Describing Spoken English: An Introduction

Describing Spoken English: An Introduction


Describing Spoken English provides a practical and descriptive introduction to the pronunciation of contemporary English. It presumes no prior knowledge of phonetics and phonology.Kreidler describes the principal varieties of English in the world today. Whilst concentrating on the phonological elements they share, the author sets out specific differences as minor variations on a theme. Although theoretically orientated towards generative phonology, theory is minimal and the book is clear, comprehensive and accessible to undergraduate and postgraduate students of linguistics and/or English Language. Numerous exercises are included to encourage further study.


This is a description of present-day English pronunciation. It aims to describe the principal native-speaker varieties of English, showing the phonological elements shared by all varieties of the language and setting out specific differences against a framework of commonality. The book is intended to be a text for undergraduate and postgraduate students whose field of study includes linguistics and/or English language, and for those who are preparing to teach English as a second or foreign language. It should be useful to both native speakers and those who have acquired the language through formal instruction.

I assume no previous knowledge of phonetic description or phonological principles, which are introduced in the second and third chapters, respectively. I have tried to make the book a useful tool for learning by providing an abundance of data words, phrases, sentences—and exercises that call on students to participate continually in the development of topics, mainly by leading them to examine their own pronunciation.

I am grateful to anonymous readers of the manuscript for valuable suggestions and to the staff of Routledge for their expert care in turning the manuscript into a book. Responsibility for the contents rests with me, of course.

C. W. K.

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