The Pronunciation of English: A Course Book, Charles Kreidler, Blackwell, 2004

pronofeng

I’ve speed-read through this pron book by Kreidler. I would say that it makes good follow-up reading to Underhill’s Sound Foundations if you are inspired to dig into phonology even deeper. If you are only looking to get a grasp of phonology for the Cambridge Delta Module 1 exam, however, then Underhill’s title by itself would be enough.

Kreidler goes deeper into the science of phonology than Underhill, and provides lots of extra exercises to help readers understand and explore the concepts in the book. There are a lot of new terms presented beyond Underhill — far more than I’m able to recall at this stage. In fact, sometimes while reading Kreidler, I was wondering if everyone is using differing sets of phonological terms to express similar ideas, as the complexity of the discussion can get rather confusing.

Some of the ‘newer’ information involves offering more explanation around differences in dialect in relation to allophones. Early on, in Chapter 1, Kreidler explains it quite well in this excerpt:

Any speaker of English feels that the six words, geese, goose, glue, glee, greet, grew, all begin with the same sound. They don’t; they begin with the same phoneme which we represent as /g/. A phoneme is an abstract unit which is realized in speech as different segments in different positions. These different segments are the allophones of the phoneme.

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British English IPA Chart for DELTA

Did I sit the Module 1 exam in December? Nope. I got quite a bit of editing and writing work in during September and October, then I decided to be a digital nomad during November. I ended up only managing to read Underhill’s Sound Foundations book during that time, so I was nowhere near ready.

So, the next target date to sit Module 1 will be in June 2019. That means I now have 200 revision cards to study from, and I’ve started with my phonology set. As part of this, I’ve produced a British English IPA chart and added more advanced notes relevant to the Delta exam. While I learned the IPA characters for my Trinity TESOL Cert, I never got to grips with (and have never taught) the concepts of voiced, unvoiced, fricatives, bilabial, etc. In fact, I had until now thought that it was a ‘monothong’, not a ‘monophthong’. Now is the time for me to learn all this (although I’m reckoning I’ve still only scratched the surface of phonology)!

Brit Eng IPA chart