This introduction is tailored for a one or two term undergraduate course on North American English pronunciation. The book assumes no prior knowledge of the study of speech sounds, but guides the reader step-by-step through the main concepts and methods of a phonetic and phonological analysis of a representative North American English variety. After a brief introduction to the history of English in North America, the first of the book’s three parts deals with the classification and description of individual consonants and vowels. The second part is concerned with issues such as word stress, syllables, rhythm and intonation. The third part has variation and change as topics, both optional present-day and historical variations, and concludes with an outline of the main regional dialects in North America.
Each of the ten chapters is aided by a concise summary followed by a list of further reading, and an index helps the reader finding all the important terms. Offering comprehensive knowledge on all aspects of North American English pronunciation, the books aims to fill a gap in the study of English pronunciation, which for some time has lacked a thorough and updated introduction to the variety spoken in North America.
Jørgen Staun has taught English language at the universities of Edinburgh and Southern Denmark. Presently he is associate professor at Copenhagen University, Denmark.