Author Archives: swphonetics

Jack Windsor Lewis

A month ago we were saddened by the news of the passing of Jack Windsor Lewis. I never managed to meet him inperson, we always seemed to be a year or so out of phase, from Stockholm in the 1950s … Continue reading

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Dating the New Open TRAP Sound Change in Southeast England

  Figure 1. The earlier closer TRAP, with DRESS and KIT compressed towards FLEECE. RP informant B born around 1900. Figure 2. The new open TRAP; F1 completely higher than 600Hz; DRESS and KIT are no longer compressed towards Fleece. … Continue reading

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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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