Tag Archives: speech acoustics

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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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 in the 1930s. The single-resonance theory was the standard for a couple … 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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Kent Accent in the 19th Century: BATH

Throughout the 19th century, and presumably back to the time of the TRAP-BATH split, the timbre of the BATH vowel in Kent had been a bright [aː]-like quality, roughly in the vacant central open position on an IPA vowel diagram … Continue reading

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Halfway to Estuary English: H G Wells

Biologist, author, journalist, H. G. Wells was born in Bromley (Kent, U.K.) in 1866, the youngest son of a professional cricketer and a domestic servant. I’d half expected to hear an example of Estuary English partially modified towards RP, but … Continue reading

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Southern British English 1

  1. Estuary English before Rosewarne Some 25 years ago I was confronted with an enigmatic comment “You do this new thing awfully well”, followed by a necessary explanation, “the way you speak”. That new thing? What new thing? I’d … Continue reading

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The Bell vowel model: its acoustic weaknesses

1. The single resonance and two resonance theories. Bell coupled his new vowel model to the then popular single resonance theory, claiming the vowel tone (resonance) depended on the dimensions of the buccal cavity. In Visible Speech (1867:71), he postulated … Continue reading

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