The English spelling system is based on the alphabetic principle, that letters in the spelling represent individual consonant and vowel sounds in the pronunciation. However, for various reasons, many of them related to the history of the language, the English spelling system is perhaps the worst example of an alphabetic system in existence. As a result, transcription systems for representing the pronunciation of English in a one-to-one way have had to be devised.
Sounds, Symbols and Spellings explains the rationale for, and gives familiarisation practice in the symbols of the transcription system used in all good modern British English dictionaries. The book
• deals exclusively with British English, and varieties of English that pattern like British English;
• explains and practises phonemic symbols, without delving into phonetic description more deeply than most readers will need;
• covers individual consonant and vowels sounds, syllable structure and stress, all of which have a bearing on phonemic transcriptions;
• includes the major sound-to-spelling correspondences of English;
• comprises many fun and interesting tasks with answer keys to help readers learn the symbols and the sounds they represent;
• has an accompanying audio CD, with examples of the sounds, and answer keys; and
• contains tips for readers who are teachers to compose similar tasks.
Non-native learners of the English language as well as native speakers who need to be familiar with transcription, will find this book useful.