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This book introduces undergraduates to the concepts, terminology and representations needed for an understanding of how English is pronounced around the world. Assuming no prior knowledge, the book guides readers through the vocal tract and explains how sounds of speech are made. Two main forms of representation are used: phonetic transcription and simple acoustic data. As far as possible, the book is based on naturally-occurring, conversational speech so that readers are familiar with the details of everyday talk (and not just the careful pronunciations represented in dictionaries). Examples are taken from around the English-speaking world, including North America, Australia, New Zealand and varieties of British English. Introductory chapters cover the basic phonetic framework, while later chapters discuss groups of sounds in more detail. The book takes an open-minded approach to what sounds of English might be significant for making meaning, and highlights the significance of word meaning, morphology, sociolinguistics and conversational interaction in phonetic analysis.
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Emilie Frèche, lauréate du Prix Orange du Livre 2013 pour "Deux étrangers"