Author Archives: swphonetics

Save the Musée de la parole et du geste

The premises, in Rue des Bernadins, are threatened by redevelopment. There is a petition to the Paris city council that you can sign here. The premises in the Rue des Bernadins, Paris (Photo: GoogleEarth)

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RIP RP – RP RIP?

The expression RP RIP appeared occasionally during a period of 40 years across the turn of the 20th-21st centuries. It’s simple and clear but the message conveyed follows various threads: Please, no more RP in schools (Tony Harrison, Chumbawamba, Scouse … Continue reading

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Perturbation theory

150th Anniversary of the Bell Vowel Model 5 September 2017 saw the 150th anniversary of Alexander Melville Bell’s vowel model. However innovative it may have seemed, his notion of continuous backness and the class of central vowels were purely hypothetical … Continue reading

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Is cardinal 4 front or central?

150th Anniversary of the Bell Vowel Model 4 September 2017 saw the 150th anniversary of Alexander Melville Bell’s vowel model.  Daniel Jones’ cardinal vowel system was a modification of Bell’s model, especially reducing Bell’s three low vowels to two. Was … Continue reading

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Feeling tongue positions

150th Anniversary of the Bell Vowel Model 3 September 2017 saw the 150th anniversary of Alexander Melville Bell’s vowel model. Within ten years, it was claimed that Bell’s tongue positions could be felt by muscular sensations. Just ten years after … Continue reading

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The double-resonance theory

150th Anniversary of the Bell Vowel Model 2 September 2017 saw the 150th anniversary of Alexander Melville Bell’s vowel model, that was briefly explained by the double-resonance theory. The single-resonance theory was the standard for a couple of hundred years … Continue reading

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Tongue height and backness

150th Anniversary of the Bell Vowel Model 1 September 2017 saw the 150th anniversary of Alexander Melville Bell’s (1867) vowel model, with its unique innovation of tongue locations between front and back, what he actually called the location of a … Continue reading

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New article

A spectrographic study of sound changes in nineteenth century Kent. 2017. In Tsudzuki, Masaki & Masaki Taniguchi (eds), A Festschrift for Jack Windsor Lewis on the occasion of his 90th Birthday 215-246, Journal of the English Phonetic Society of Japan … Continue reading

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19th century sound change in Kent: LOT

The distribution of LOT pronunciations by the seven informants. Most still had [a~ɑ]-like earlier pronunciations (O). Only two had as yet acquired the new pronunciation [ɔ] (N). The earlier 19th century popular pronunciation in Kent for LOT was [a~ɑ]. The … Continue reading

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19th century sound change in Kent: MOUTH

The distribution of MOUTH pronunciations by the eight informants. Four informants had acquired the new pronunciation [æɒ], [æ:] (N) or the partially new form [æʉ] (P). Four informants still had the earlier pronunciation [ɛʉ] (O). Alexander Ellis (1889, On Early … Continue reading

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