Sociophonetics is the multifaceted subfield of linguistics in which
phonetics, phonology and sociolinguistics interact. To understand
the key questions addressed in sociophonetics, a firm grasp of
articulatory and acoustic phonetics is required, together with an
understanding of the workings of phonology and an appreciation of
sociolinguistic variation, including how subtle phonetic
differences can index a range of speaker identities. This book
takes an integrated approach in examining issues of phonetics,
phonology and sociolinguistics in unison. Assuming little prior
knowledge of linguistics, the book begins with a consideration of
how English varies, geographically and socially, before introducing
the technical terminology and theoretical concepts of auditory and
acoustic phonetics. An examination of phonology follows,
investigating, in particular, what 'a phonology' is, and what kind
of information is stored there. A crucial component of the book is
an examination of how phonological variation can be represented in
cognition, and how such variation impacts upon linguistic theory.
The book also engages with the principles of language change, and
examines how sociophonetics can benefit 'applied' fields such as
speech technology and forensic speech science. Throughout the book,
copious illustration is provided using data from both standard and
non-standard varieties of English from Britain, the USA, Australia
and beyond. Written in a lively, accessible style and aimed at
undergraduate students of phonetics, phonology and
sociolinguistics, the book provides the necessary background to
allow readers to engage with the sociophonetic literature and the
confidence to embark on research of their own. Subjects covered
include: *Exploring social and geographical variation in English
*The sounds of 'English': production, perception, variation
*Looking at sounds: introducing acoustic phonetics *English
phonological systems: what are they and how do they vary?
*Modelling sound change: splits & mergers, convergence &
divergence, lexical diffusion, the role of word-frequency in sound
change *Phonological variation and cognition: what do speakers know
about the sounds of their language? *Using sociophonetics: speech
therapy, speech technology, speech forensics *Doing sociophonetics:
approaches, methodologies, and ethics.
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