Phonetic Transcription in Theory and Practice

Barry Heselwood

Hardback i (Printed to Order)
Ebook (PDF) i
The first book-length monograph to address all aspects of phonetic transcription
  • Analyses broad, narrow, auditory, systematic, segmental, suprasegmental and parametric phonetic transcription
  • Includes a glossary of key terms
  • Demonstrates the comparison, classification and interpretation of phonetic transcriptions for different purposes through a series of examples
  • Links to updated phonetic charts available via the Resources tab (below)

The aim of phonetic transcription is to represent the sounds of speech on paper. This book surveys the history of attempts to represent speech, considering the relationship of transcription to written language and includes a thorough analysis of the many different kinds of phonetic transcription addressing what exactly is represented in different kinds and levels of transcription. It reviews contemporary uses of phonetic transcription in a range of situations including dictionaries, language teaching texts, phonetic and phonological studies, dialectology and sociolinguistics, speech pathology and therapy, and forensic phonetics. The author grounds his work in the philosophy of phenomenalism, countering arguments against auditory transcription that have been advanced by experimental phoneticians for reasons of empirical inadequacy, and by linguistic rationalists who say it is irrelevant for understanding the supposedly innate categories that are said to underlie speech.

Chapter 1 Theoretical preliminaries to phonetic notation and transcription
Chapter 2 Origins and development of phonetic transcription
Chapter 3 Types of notation
Chapter 4 Types of Transcription
Chapter 5 Narrow Impressionistic Phonetic Transcription
Chapter 6 Phonetic transcription in relation to instrumental and other records
Chapter 7 Some uses of transcription
Heselwood displays an unparalleled depth of conceptual insight into the theory and practice of transcription, clearly articulating the complementarity of instrumental analysis and impressionistic transcription for contemporary phonetic practice. Essential reading for anyone engaged in phonetic research and teaching, his scholarly study is likely to be the key reference on phonetic transcription for the foreseeable future.
Bill Wells, University of Sheffield
An asset to the phonetic community. It will enable a greater number of teachers, around the world, to convey to their students how, and why, phonetic transcription is done.
John Esling, University of Victoria
Dr Barry Heselwood is Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and Phonetics at the University of Leeds.

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