LINGUIST List 10.1353

Tue Sep 14 1999

Disc: review of Deterding & Poedjosoedarmo

Editor for this issue: Andrew Carnie <>


  1. DETERDING David Henry (SOA), RE: 10.1348, Review: Deterding & Poedjosoedarmo: Sounds of Englis h

Message 1: RE: 10.1348, Review: Deterding & Poedjosoedarmo: Sounds of Englis h

Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 16:25:03 +0800
From: DETERDING David Henry (SOA) <>
Subject: RE: 10.1348, Review: Deterding & Poedjosoedarmo: Sounds of Englis h

With regard to the recent review of our book:

'The Sounds of English: Phonetics and Phonology for English Teachers in
Southeast Asia', Singapore: Prentice Hall, 1998

we are grateful to the reviewer (Zahariah Pilus) for her very positive
comments. We are particularly pleased that she found the book "well
organized and clearly presented" and that our use of analogies "makes
phonetics and phonology more interesting".

She made 3 criticisms that might be addressed here:

1. Further use of recordings might be made on the accompanying tape, to
illustrate British English and American English pronunciation more fully.
This is a valid suggestion, and indeed we will ensure that the tape will be
more comrehensive in the next edition. (It seems, unfortunately, to be
quite a common failing of phonetics textbooks to fail to provide really
adequate accompanying recordings.)

2. The extensive cross-referencing interferes with the smooth reading of
the book. This comment we will also consider very carefully when we come to
revise the book.

3. Insufficient attention is paid to the differences between Bahasa
Indonesia and Bahasa Malaysia. Although it is indeed true that Indonesia
has borrowed many lexical items from Dutch, including derivational affixes,
this has had little effect on the phonological system of the language. It
is also true that Bahasa Malaysia has assimilated more consonants of Arabic
origin than Bahasa Indonesia, but as these sounds only occur in loanwords,
it did not seem worthwhile to go into greater detail about them in a
phonetics book for English teachers. However, as some of these differences
may mean that teaching English in Indonesia is rather different from
teaching English in Malaysia (as the reviewer points out), we will certainly
consider this point carefully in the next edition.

We have found a few errors in the book, which we will ensure get corrected
when the book is reprinted. For those who have the current printing, the
list of errors can be found in:

David Deterding and Gloria Poedjosoedarmo
National Institute of Education
Nanyang Technological University
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