This book has two aims: to give readers an introduction to English phonetics and phonology which will enable them to understand the complexities of oral English; to show that the graphemic system of English - though certainly less simple than one might wish - is, on the whole, a reasonably reliable representation of the oral system.
The first section of the book provides an introduction to acoustic and articulatory phonetics and the phonological system of English. Broad and narrow transcription, phonemic analysis and various phonetic processes found in English are also presented. The description of the phonemic system of English - based on its two principal variants, British and North American - is followed by chapters dealing with the suprasegmental features of the language: word-stress,
rhythm and weak forms and the different aspects of intonation: tone-units, tonicity and tones.
The final section of the book is devoted to graphophonemics: the study of the relationship between the written and phonetic forms of the language. The parameters of the written language are specified and the existence of a satisfactory system of correspondences between written and oral English is demonstrated. The theoretical presentation of the rules covers both the stress patterns of words and their phonetic form.
In addition to the rules formulated, the reader will find a vast amount of data, including, in particular, quasi-exhaustive lists of exceptions. The book may therefore be used as a work of reference providing an essential guide both to regular and irregular forms.