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Phonetic Symbol Guide 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226685366
ISBN-10: 0226685365
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Geoffrey K. Pullum earned his B.A. in Language at the University of York in 1972 and his Ph.D. in General Linguistics at the University of London four years later. After teaching at University College London for seven years he moved to the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he served as Dean of Graduate Studies and Research for six years and is currently Professor of Linguistics. He was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences in 1990 91. His numerous publications cover not only syntactic theory and English grammar but also on a large number of other topics in linguistics. His books include Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar (1985, with Gazdar, Klein, and Sag) and a collection of satirical essays on linguistics, The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax (1991).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 358 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (July 30, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226685365
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226685366
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The PHONETIC SYMBOL GUIDE of Geoffrey K. Pullum and William A. Ladusaw is a quick reference for anyone wishing to see what a given symbol represents in IPA or American Usage. It is easy to use, for it is an a-z listing of symbols, i.e. all symbols which look similar to a given English letter are grouped together, followed by symbols which cannot be placed in alphabetical order. There is a concise glossary of phonetic terms, and finally charts of several methods of transcription.

The work is generally satisfactory, but it is imperfect. In its discussion of IPA the Guide might be seen as historically superseded, for the IPA subsequently released its own official Handbook, which is less easy to use than the work of Pullum and Ladusaw but perhaps more reliable. With regard to other usage, I was disappointed to find that there was no information on the use of certain symbols in Finno-Ugric/Uralic phonetic alphabets. In fact, outside of IPA and American usage there isn't much information. The book may have well ballooned to twice its size if more usage was added, but it would have made the book a much more useful reference.

If one frequently works with American transcriptions of speech, the PHONETIC SYMBOL GUIDE might be an excellent reference to get. People concerned with the IPA should probably simply get the HANDBOOK OF THE INTERNATIONAL PHONETIC ASSOCIATION.
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This is a great reference tool for anybody working in Linguistics and Phonetics, simply because Phonetic Notation has varied so much over time. It's gotten me out of tough spots when dealing with Smalley's notation as well as some traditional notation in the description of Native American languages. Similarly, it's vastly useful when reading through the notes of past linguists, whose symbol use is non-conventional at best, and you stumble across a symbol you've never seen and can't find on an IPA chart (I'm looking at you, Barred Lambda).

However, this book is NOT a course in phonetics or in the International Phonetic Alphabet. Picking this book up and reading through it, cover to cover, would be largely useless and downright masochistic, and if you're only working with symbols from the Modern IPA, this book won't be terribly useful. This book is a reference title, not a textbook, so unless you're in the trenches with antiquated or esoteric phonetic symbols on a semi-regular basis, this book might just collect dust on your shelf.

So, for the Phonetician or Linguist who might have a use for it, this book is an incredible resource, but for the new student or casual reader, this book is largely unnecessary.
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Format: Paperback
This is a precious and useful reference book. It covers most of history of IPA and of the American usage(s) in transcription, with some minor gaps (e.g., the symbol for dental voiced affricate used by Gleason and Hall, the special use of reversed small capital U in Hockett, etc.). It is a trustworthy guide for the traditions of transcription it covers: I learned a lot about them. Some moot points of the new IPA are duly commented upon and clarified, too. The Continental European tradition, on the contrary, is only cursorily hinted at (e.g., Meillet-Cohen, Slavic linguistics, but not Dialectology and Linguistic Geography, both Romance and Germanic) and so is the tradition of Africanists (Beach and Doke are taken into account, but not, e.g., Guthrie). Being grateful to the authors for the service they paid to the community of linguists and anthropologists, might I hope for a little bit larger coverage in a next edition?
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Format: Paperback
A completely thorough guide to phonetics, including all symbols considered and ever used in the IPA, American system, and various specialized systems (such as those of eskimologists, etc.). An absolute must and a great improvement from the first edition.
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Format: Paperback
This is a precious and useful reference book. It covers most of history of IPA and of the American usage(s) in transcription, with some minor gaps (e.g., the symbol for dental voiced affricate used by Gleason and Hall, the special use of reversed small capital U in Hockett, etc.). It is a trustworthy guide for the traditions of transcription it covers: I learned a lot about them. Some moot points of the new IPA are duly commented upon and clarified, too. The Continental European tradition, on the contrary, is only cursorily hinted at (e.g., Meillet-Cohen, Slavic linguistics, but not Dialectology and Linguistic Geography, both Romance and Germanic) and so is the tradition of Africanists (Beach and Doke are taken into account, but not, e.g., Guthrie). Being grateful to the authors for the service they paid to the community of linguists and anthropologists, might I hope for a little bit larger coverage in a next edition?
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