"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
Thu, 1 Dec 2005 11:16:43 -0800 (PST) From: Rita Mathur <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Phonetics for Communication Disorder
AUTHORS: Ball, Martin J.; Muller, Nicole TITLE: Phonetics for Communication Disorders PUBLISHER: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates YEAR: 2005
Rita Mathur, Visiting faculty member, AYJ National Institute for Hearing Handicapped, and SNDT University, Mumbai, India.
The book has three parts. Part 1 (Chapters 1-9) deals with General Phonetics, part two (Chapters 10-18) with English Phonetics, and part three (Chapters 19-20) with Disordered Speech. An audio CD is provided along with the book. Two appendices containing IPA (rev 1993) along with extra IPA symbols for disordered speech (rev. 2002) and voice quality symbols (VoQS), are included. Moreover, Distinctive features, Phonological Primes for English and Natural phonological processes, are included in the body of the book. Solutions to audio CD transcription exercises are given in the end of the book. Each chapter is supported by exercises and a further reading list.
Chapter 1 ''Phonetic Description'': This chapter introduces the ''speech chain'', highlighting the three main areas of study within phonetics: the study of speech production, the study of speech transmission, and the study of speech reception or perception. Thus, it deals with articulatory phonetics, acoustic phonetics and auditory phonetics, respectively. The authors have introduced speech chains in a simple manner. Diagrammatically shown speech chain candidly manifests the 'Production ability' (P), 'Hearing ability' (H) and the 'Creative ability' (C) which is active in both speaker and listener throughout the communication process.
Chapter 2 ''The organs of speech'' deals with the vocal tract. The vocal tract is defined as the entire respiratory system from the lungs up to the oral cavity and nasal cavity, and the vocal organs within the vocal tract having primary functions not connected to speech. The difference is being brought out precisely between the vocal tract and vocal organs.
Chapter 3 ''Initiation of an Air stream'' introduces the aerodynamics of the air stream initiation and principle types of air stream mechanisms.
Chapter 4 ''Phonation and Voice Quality'' explains various aspects of the phonation and supralaryngeal aspects of voice quality.
Chapter 5 ''Description of vowels'' introduces articulatory, acoustic and perceptual aspects of vowels. All the cardinal vowels are described in the chapter and accompanying CD gives the audio version of the vowels. In this manner, the learner gets hands on session to know the pronunciation of the vowels.
Chapter 6 ''Articulation: Consonant Manner Types''. This chapter covers a detail introduction of Stops, both Oral and Nasal. Fricatives, Affricates, Approximants, Trills and Taps, Obstruents and Sonorants.
Chapter 7 ''Articulation: Consonants Place Types''. This chapter encompasses place of articulation. The terms like Labial, Anterior, Lingual, Dorsal, and Posterior are explained with the help of diagrams making the chapter very conducive. Authors have included acoustic description of consonants along with the articulatory description.
Chapter 8 ''More on Consonants''. This chapter broadens the horizon of articulation by introducing modified oral stops and multiple articulations. The acoustic characteristics are dealt with in the same chapter. The chapter concludes with an IPA chart. Audio demonstration of released, non released and affricated release is very conducive. Demonstration also includes co articulation and secondary articulation.
Chapter 9 ''Suprasegmental Phonetics'' introduces Stress, Length, pitch, Boundary effects and other prosodic features along with there acoustic characteristics. In a clinical setting, the identification of stress placement is very important when the speech is highly unintelligible. Thus, a systematic description of 'prosody' and 'dysprosody' is included.
Chapter 10 ''Phonetics and Phonological Description'' highlights the salient features of English phonetics and phonology bringing out the differential phonological systems and structures.
Chapter 11 ''Monophthongs of English'' introduces the high front, lower back and high back vowels. The transcription is well included in the end.
Chapter 12 ''English Central Vowels and Diphthongs'' introduces non rhotic central vowels, rhotic central vowels, the mid closing diphthongs, the low closing diphthongs, the fronting closing diphthongs and the centering diphthongs substantially.
Chapter 13 ''English Plosive and Affricates'' converses about the bilabial, alveolar, velar plosives ; the post alveolar affricates and the glottal stop.
Chapter 14 ''English Fricatives'' introduces the labiodentals, dental, alveolar, post alveolar, and glottal fricatives.
Chapter 15 ''English Sonorant Consonants'' discusses the nasal stops, liquid approximants and semi vowel approximants.
Chapter 16 ''Words and connected speech'' elaborates English word stress, stress in connected speech. It also deals with a few phonological processes like, assimilation, elision and liaison, and juncture.
Chapter 17 ''Intonation of English'' introduces Nuclear Tones and post nuclear patterns, prenuclear tunes, and intonation tunes.
Chapter 18 ''Varieties of English''. This chapter highlights the ways in which accent can differ. Substantial information is given on national varieties of English, regional differences in American English and Spanish influenced English. Keeping so many varieties what could be the possible phonological problems for the learners of English is also discussed.
Chapter 19 ''Phonological and Phonetic Disorders''. This part of the book deals with the terms phonetics and phonology in the description of the disordered speech.
Chapter 20 ''Transcribing Atypical and Disordered Speech'' elaborates most of the possible aspects of atypical and disordered speech. Elaborates atypical places and manners of articulation, voicing. Authors have tried to resolve the uncertainty in transcription.
The intended audience of this book is described as ''the students who will go into becoming speech language pathologists''. This book is also useful, firstly for speech pathologists that have to be conversant in speech science, secondly for students of linguistics learning phonetics, and thirdly for linguists who are interested in varieties of English, perhaps for pedagogical reasons. Even speech pathologists have to be conversant with the dialectal variations of the language, mainly because they should not analyze a variation as a speech disorder.
There are many concepts which are distinguished in the book. For instance, the authors emphasize the difference between vocal tract and vocal organs. The vocal tract is defined as the entire respiratory system from the lungs up to the oral cavity and nasal cavity, and vocal organs within the vocal tract having primary functions that are not connected to speech. Moreover, the vocal tract is that through which air is drawn ('tract' is cognate with 'tractor' and refers to pulling something) when we speak. Although this description is consistent with those given by Ladefoged (2001) and Laver (1994), the emphasis on the difference between the two is helpful for a beginner to acquire the concepts without any ambiguity. Moreover, the authors have elaborated the description of the respiratory, laryngeal and supra-laryngeal systems in such a way that a student can understand and grasp the subject without any difficulty. Another salient feature of the book is that it treats both the articulatory and acoustic properties of sounds. The concepts are well illustrated with ample figures and diagrams. Finally, the authors have elucidated the principles of air pressure along with their relevant locations with examples. The description of initiators, compression and rarefaction, and By using the CD, readers can get good training in recognizing and pronouncing ejective, implosive and click sounds.
Since phonation and voice quality both are important aspects for speech language pathologists, the authors have described difficulties regarding voice quality in detail. The explanation of phonation types is supported by plenty of diagrams and illustrations, inclusive of articulatory, physiological and acoustic dimensions. A detailed description of the location of the phonatory activities is included. These activities may take place in the anterior portion of the vocal folds, some may take place in the posterior portion and some may take place all along the folds. An audio presentation in CD for all these activities gives a clear description of normal, ventricular and diplophonia or double voice types. An audio demonstration of falsetto phonation is not included, as this has no linguistic use. All other types of phonations are demonstrated.
The system and structure of English is dealt with at length, enabling a speech language pathologist to master the structural and functional aspects of English phonetics. The sounds that are covered are recorded on the CD as a part of the exercises. Solutions for the exercises are given in the end of the book. A very good audio demonstration of non-pulmonic and pulmonic sounds clearly manifests their respective articulatory gestures. To me it appeared as a sort of hands-on session in phonetic training. Besides this, central and lateral fricatives are also very well demonstrated.
The book includes a substantial discussion of clinical phonology, including aspects of 'atypical' and 'disordered' speech. Atypical speech is defined as clients using sounds that have not been recorded in natural language or found rarely. On the other hand, disordered speech covers disruptions at the phonological and phonetic level. Compare Crystal (1981), who defines ''phonological disability'' as an abnormal phonological system with a normal phonetic realization, and ''phonetic disability'' when the phonological system is normal but its phonetic realization is abnormal. Both disabilities may be present simultaneously. Grunwell (1977) defines phonological disability simply as ''the use of abnormal patterns in the spoken system''. In atypical speech, consonants may be produced using a variety of atypical places and manners of articulation, but atypical vowels are not found. Even if the vowels are produced within the vowel space when the tongue tip and body are protruded, still the articulation of the vowels would be within the vowel area. Finally, the description of the extra IPA symbols for the transcription of disordered speech is extremely useful for speech language pathologists.
In conclusion, I highly recommend this book to be included in a course of speech language pathology and for the students in linguistics. Even for teachers, it seems to me as a 'must have' kind of book.
Crystal, D. (1981) Clinical Linguistics. Springer-Verlag /Wien.
Grunwell, P. (1977) The nature of phonological disability in children. London: Academic Press
Ladefoged, P. (2001) A Course in Phonetics. Thompson Learning.
Laver, J. (1994) Principles of Phonetics. Cambridge University Press.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
The reviewer is a visiting faculty member in the department of speech
and language pathology, AYJ National Institute for hearing
handicapped, Mumbai, India. She is also visiting faculty in linguistics in
SNDT University, Mumbai. Her research interest is in phonetics and
corpus linguistics. Currently she is working on acoustic cues for the
perception of sounds in children.