Donor challenge: Your generous donation will be matched 2-to-1 right now. Your $5 becomes $15! Dear Internet Archive Supporter,. I ask only. This book is an introduction to practical phonetics, the description and classification of the sounds of speech. Catford’s unique interactive approach leads. A Practical Introduction to Phonetics has 62 ratings and 6 reviews. Emma said: A great book with a very practical approach. Don’t do the exercises in pub.

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Any new publication on phonetics by J. Catford is to be warmly welcomed. As the book cover rightly states, he ‘is widely regarded as the leading practical phonetician of our time’.

That is, the topic of the book is general or theoretical phonetics, which is approached in a practical way. A basic knowledge of general phonetics, Catford argues, is of use to many groups: Few would deny this. However, many might argue as to the extent and depth of pjonetics required by the ESL teacher. There are several topics covered in the book which fall outside the central interest of ESL, e.

The fact that these technical terms practjcal be unfamiliar to the average ESL teacher reading this review suggests that they fall within the domain of general phonetics rather than of ESL.

It is widely accepted nowadays that the reason introducfion some learners of English continue to sound foreign and remain unintelligible is as much to do with the suprasegmental features of stress, rhythm, intonation and voice quality, as it is with the segmental consonant and vowel features, on tto attention has traditionally been concentrated see my article in this issue.

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Bolinger has criticised this traditional emphasis on segmentals succinctly introduxtion follows:. Catford’s account of rhythm owes much to the theory of Abercrombie e. This theory held sway in the s and 70s but has gradually been eroded by the failure of investigators to find confirming evidence for the theory.

It is widely considered nowadays to be only a pedagogically convenient fiction see Roach, ; Faber,; Brown, Catford would seem to be the ideal person to put straight the facts of English rhythm.

The book is a practical introduction. As with Ladefogedit ‘is a course in phonetics, not a book about phonetics’ Ladefoged, The explanation of phonetic concepts takes the form of experiments introductiin the reader is invited to perform using his own vocal apparatus.

These experiments are based on performance exercises which Catford has perfected during his years at the University of Michigan. The rationale is that the reader may learn only so much from verbal descriptions, but that his understanding will be deeper if it is based on introspection and investigation of his own performance, with the aim of bringing articulatory gestures under conscious control.

There are many competing introductions to phonetics on the market. It is surprising, therefore, that Catford chooses to recommend two of these Ladefoged, ; Abercrombie, extensively as further reading.

Catford’s book is an excellent practical introduction to segmental general phonetics. Particularly pleasing are the experiments it contains. It is thus very suitable for undergraduate courses in phonetics and for groups such as speech therapists. However, its concentration on segmental features of phonetcs at the expense of suprasegmentals, and the fact that it deals with several physiological possibilities which are not widespread in languages of the world, mean that its usefulness for ESL teachers is limited.


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A Practical Introduction to Phonetics by J.C. Catford

Reviewed by Adam Brown. Bolinger has criticised this traditional emphasis on segmentals succinctly as follows: This is followed in Chapter 10 by discussion of the sound systems of different languages, again almost exclusively at the segmental level. While carefully maintaining the lip-teeth articulatory contact, suddenly stop breathing out – i. Take care to retain the articulation for at least 5 seconds after you have abolished the initiation.

Now repeat the experiment with an [si-articulation. Breathe in, start up [ssssssi then, while carefully maintaining the [s]-articulation, suddenly abolish the initiation – i. Retain the [s]-articulation for another 5 seconds or so after you have abolished the initiation’. That experiment is typical of those contained in the book, and demonstrates the componential approach adopted. All sounds involve two basic components – initiation an airstream and articulation.

A practical introduction to phonetics

A third component phonation, i. Such a componential approach is an ideal way of countering the holistic way in which speech sounds are generally viewed by the phonetically untrained.

Numerous diagrams and tables illustrate the approach.