As the title of this book is ambitious, and the sub-title may not suffice to indicate its limitations, it is well to warn the reader that he will find no exhaustive treatment of English speech sounds. That would have required knowledge greater than mine, and more space than was at my disposal. The little book is an attempt to gain fellow-workers in a field which is unduly neglected, yet full of promise. Fascinating indeed are the problems afforded by the speech of those around us; perplexing often, stimulating to further inquiry. It was in teaching the pronunciation of foreign languages that I first realised how important it is to acquire a knowledge of the sounds of the mother tongue. Before the learner can acquire the fresh habits of speech peculiar to the foreign language, his teacher must know clearly what distinguishes the new sounds from those familiar in the mother tongue, for only then can the foreign pronunciation be imparted in a methodical way. It has been shown convincingly that it is vain to trust altogether to imitation, however correct and clear may be the pronunciation of the teacher. The book may therefore be useful to the teacher of foreign languages; but it is intended also for a larger circle. In our Training Colleges, noted for earnest work, the importance of the spoken language has long been felt, and much attention has been devoted to the cultivation of the voice. My object has not been to write on voice production, though occasional reference to the subject has been made. It has not been my aim to say how the language ought to be spoken, to improve upon the ordinary speech of our day, but to represent it to the best of my ability, and to enable others to distinguish speech sounds when they hear them. If it be desirable to improve upon our speech, its present condition and tendencies must first be determined. The difficulties of the undertaking have been considerable; I confess that I have often given my impressions rather than the well-substantiated results of observation. I am confident that particularly those who have had no phonetic training will regard as slipshod some of the pronunciations which I state to be usual. I can only ask them to put aside all preconceived notions of what is qcorrect, q and to listen carefully to the unconstrained speech of their friends. If they still find that the facts do not bear out what is here stated, they will do me a service by sending me their corrections. The learned critic who chances to take up this book may feel offended that I should have treated phonetics in so conversational a tone, and disappointed at finding little or nothing with which he is not well acquainted. My endeavour has been to put things very simply, and to make the beginner in phonetics hear for himself. It is only a first step; but I am not without hope that some will be induced to take a second step and a third, until the number of students is far larger than at present. The teachers in our schools have had scant opportunities for ear-training, and the mother tongue has sadly suffered. I have been much encouraged in my work by the generous help of friends; to Prof. A. T. Baker, Mr W. Osborne Brigstocke, Principal A. Burrell, Dr E. R. Edwards, Miss E. Fogerty, Mr W. W. Greg, Dr H. F. Heath, Dr R. J. Lloyd, Mr R. B. McKerrow, and Prof. G. C. Moore Smith, I am much indebted for useful and suggestive criticisms.As the title of this book is ambitious, and the sub-title may not suffice to indicate its limitations, it is well to warn the reader that he will find no exhaustive treatment of English speech sounds.
|Title||:||The Sounds of Spoken English|
|Publisher||:||J. M. DENT & SONS, LTD - 2014-12-25|