LINGUIST List 4.192

Tue 16 Mar 1993

Sum: US/British pronunciation and spelling

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  1. mark, Summary: US/British pronunciation and spelling

Message 1: Summary: US/British pronunciation and spelling

Date: Mon, 15 Mar 93 22:20:23 ESSummary: US/British pronunciation and spelling
From: mark <markdragonsys.com>
Subject: Summary: US/British pronunciation and spelling


Many people responded to my request for comparative dictionaries
of (or monographs on) the spelling and pronunciation of US and
British English. Here are the references I received. I've
combined multiple references and sorted by author, or title if the
author's name wasn't given. The comments after the citations are
from the respondents, sometimes somewhat edited for format and
relevance. Where there are multiple comments on a single work
I've separated them with a single line of just a dash.

Bauer, Laurie, John Dienhart, Hans Hartvigsson & Leif Kvistgaard
 Jakobsen 1980.
American English Pronunciation. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
This makes comparisons with British Rp continually, and comments
on words pronounced differently in the two varieties.

British English from A to Zed
A wonderful comparative dictionary. It has gone under different
titles in different editions.

deFuniak, William Q.
[approx title] British-American/American-British Dictionary
Has a decent selection of correspondences going both ways,
including spelling differences. No significant info on
pronunciation, though.

Everyman's English Pronouncing Dictionary
J. M. Dent and Sons Ltd.
London 1989
ISBM 0 460 03036 I
a volume of "Received Pronounciation" as used by the BBC

Janicki, Karol.
Elements of British and American English.
Polish Scientific Publishers (PWN) [?]
Let me suggest an excellent work by a colleague of mine...
Several editions, the latest being the best. It is not a
comprehensive dictionary, but it has the fullest treatment of
orthographic discrepancies I have seen, as well as a nice listing
of basic phonological (including some regular lexical patterns and
some intonational differences). There is also an interesting
listing of idiom variants.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Presents the user with all the most important and distinctive
differences between British and Amrican English in pronunciation,
spelling and usage, with the markers BrE and AmE.

Moore, Margaret E. 1989.
Understanding British English. New York: Citadel.
A popular work not a learned one, reviewed by Laurie Bauer in
American Speech 1992 213-5

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of English
Both Am and Br pronunciations and the differing definitions

Strevens, Peter 1972.
British and American English.
London: Collier-Macmillan.

Swan, Toril, & Frank Peters
American English: A handbook and sociolinguistic perspective.
Oslo: Novus
If you can find it. It has some of the things you are looking for.

Trudgill, Peter & Jean Hannah 1982.
International English.
London: Edward Arnold.
on grammar

Wells, J.C. 1990.
Longman Pronunciation Dictionary.
London: Longman.
 -
The best pronouncing dictionary available at the moment in that it gives
the pronunciation of about 75,000 words.
Pronunciation plus a lot of wise phonetic comments are given for both
British (RP) and 'Genearal' American English. John Wells is the
Professor of Phonetics at University College, London, and clearly THE
leading authority on all forms of pronunciation of English.
 -
It is really excellent, though it still has many typos at this
stage -- be careful.

Williams, Stephen N.
The Dictionary of British and American Homophones.
London: Brookside Press, 1987.
The introduction lists several separate dictionaries of American or
British English which might also be of use.

Windsor-Lewis, Jack. [hyphen or no? see next citation]
Concise Pronouncing Dictionary of British and American English.
Published some time in the 70s (1974?).
Similar [to Janicki] though smaller in scope and older
 -
J Windsor Lewis (1972)
A concise pronouncing dictionary of British and American English:
Oxford University Press.
The book must surely be available in a more recent edition. This
book simply gives a single pronunciation for each word (no
definition) and indicates American variants with a $ prefix. It
was aimed mainly at foreign learners I think and does not attempt
to deal with intranational variation.

 The following are partial references:

I've also seen a two-volume comparative dictionary of British and
American English in one British Council Library, but I don't
remember the title -- only that it was slightly strange.

John Algeo has published some material in this area recently, but
I don't have a reference, I'm afraid.

I've seen short ones in tourist shops in London. (I remember the
info booth near Victoria Station in particular.) They also had
then for UK/Australia, and a few others. (I think that there was
one for South Africa; I don't remember about Canada.) They were
basically wordlists, saying "X here is Y there", and only about
1x3x5 inches, so they may not be what you were looking for.

Thanks to all who replied:

Dave Kathman, djk1midway.uchicago.edu
Robert Westmoreland, RWESTMORucs.indiana.edu
Laurie Bauer, Victoria Univ., Wellington, N.Z., Laurie.BAUERvuw.ac.nz
Toril Swan, torilsmack.uit.no
Steve Chandler, Univ. of Idaho, STEVEROYidui1.csrv.uidaho.edu
Peter Ladefoged, UCLA, idu0pnluclamvs.bitnet
David Graddol, D.J.Graddolopen.ac.uk
Mark Turnbull, turnbullcns.bu.edu
Minglang Zhou, Michigan State University, 21798MIZmsu.edu
Theresa Tobin, MIT Humanities Librarian, tatathena.mit.edu
jJ, jewettmedici.ils.nwu.edu
 (No full name provided; my mailer may be at fault)
Robert Lew, rlewemunix.emich.edu

 Mark A. Mandel
 Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 965-5200
 320 Nevada St. : Newton, Mass. 02160, USA
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