An Introduction to Field Phonetics

An Introduction to Field Phonetics

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  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Norris P McKinney;Carol V McKinney
  • Publish Date: 2017-02-06


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This articulatory phonetics course is designed especially for students whose aim is to learn an unwritten language. It teaches how to pronounce and transcribe virtually all the known sounds of the world's languages. The authors incorporate data from current research on a number of sounds, including two recently documented sounds (the labial flap and the interdental approximant). The McKinneys also provide fresh information on fortis-lenis consonants based on research of the Nigerian language, Jju.

The majority of the book teaches the articulatory details of specific speech sounds, but chapters also include acoustic phonetics, palatography, the fascinating area of dialectal differences, and practical considerations for conducting phonetic field work.

Anecdotes from the authors' and others' field experiences enliven the book. Another strength is phonetic exercises given in each chapter and the Appendices that cite data from many of the lesser-known languages of the world.

An extensive Glossary and list of references help to not only review the basic concepts, but also provide resources for the interested student to dig deeper.

Norris McKinney (Ph.D., University of Michigan) and Carol McKinney (Ph.D., Southern Methodist University) conducted fieldwork for over ten years while living among the Bajju people of northern Nigeria. Both have taught articulatory phonetics, and Norris also taught acoustic phonetics. He began writing this book as an update on data taught in SIL phonetics courses. Norris passed away before this book could be published, and Carol has brought this work to completion on his behalf.

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