The pronunciation and intonation of 12 languages are described in this
book: English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian,
Arabic, Hindi, Chinese, Japanese, and Esperanto. They are dealt with (in
such a precise manner as never seen before) by applying natural phonetics
(i.e. articulatory, auditory, and functional) thoroughly dealt with in the
twin volume, A Handbook of Phonetics.
Many figures clearly show the peculiarities of vowels, consonants,
intonation, and tones, whereas very accurate and faithful transcriptions
help to "see the sounds" of several languages. There are about 350 phones
in this book, treated with the rigor and effectiveness of the phonetic method.
Neutral (or "standard") pronunciations are described, including the
American variants of English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Each chapter
comprises: Generalities, Vowels, Consonants, Structures, and Text.
In addition, about thirty native accents (with variants) are dealt with,
including American and British "mediatic" English (used in radio and
television broadcastings; the British variant is often called "Estuary
English"), besides "international", Canadian, Australian (with its
well-known 4 variants), New-Zealand, traditional-British and Cockney English.
For French, we also have "international", "mediatic" Parisian, banlieu
Parisian, Marseilles and Canadian French. For German, besides neutral
pronunciation, the variants of the former West Germany, Austria,
Switzerland, and South Tyrol are also given. For Italian, the traditional
pronunciation is added and a couple of "mediatic" variants (from Milan and
Rome) as well. Also for Russian and Chinese, some variants are given, which
are useful for descriptive and teaching purposes.
The author was trained in the British phonetic tradition and teaches
Phonetics and phonology at the University of Venice, Italy.
A synthesis of Phonetics and Tonetics
The contents of the Handbook
Observations on phonetic terminology
Guide to the figures
Guide to different types of transcriptions
Transcribing by hand
Generic symbols (for phonetic categories)
The official IPA chart
3. English (American & British)
6. Spanish (Iberian & American)
7. Portuguese (Brazilian & Lusitanian)
11. Chinese (Mandarin)