‘U’

I was all set to move on to U when I realised that my last post on tonic and tone had received quite a lot of views, and even comments, and that there were good reasons for giving the topic a second post, in the same way I did with accent, for example. So, dilemma, […]

Receptive phonological competence

Well, this is quite a mouthful of a name, so as this blog is always about pronunciation, let’s just refer to receptive competence, which is the listener’s ability to make sense of whatever it is that the other person is saying, or, to put it technically, to decode the incoming acoustic signal. Receptive competence, as […]

Quality in vowels – consistent, intelligible, achievable

One of the key messages in my last post on priorities for English vowels, was that you don’t need the twelve pure vowels (monophthongs) of RP in order to be intelligible in English. Evidence for this assertion is pretty overwhelming, and in addition to common sense observation of English in daily use, this evidence lies […]

Quality or quantity – priorities for English vowels

Sorry, I’m a late with this. I got distracted. They’re busy re–roofing the garage and I’ve been negotiating what I want them to do and for how much. “It’s a big job,’ the roofer said, ‘And I guess you want it done well, so it’s a question of both quantity and quality. That’s not going […]

Nativeness (2) – just who do you think you are?

I was cleaning out old photos to reclaim a bit a space for my computer’s ailling memory when I came across this one from the 11th International Conference of English as a Lingua Franca, which was hosted at King’s College London back in July 2018. (So wish we could get back to that age of […]

The Nativeness Principle

Welcome back! I signed off in July saying I’d be back in September, and I swore to myself that I’d be back at the beginning of the month, but I didn’t make it! The other thing that I promised was to return to blogging with the letter ‘N’, and there I can manage to be […]

M is halfway

M is halfway through the alphabet so it’s a good time to take a break. End of term, let’s say, and time for the northern hemisphere’s summer recess. I’ll be back in September, however, with more mind-numbing reflections on pronunciation, beginning with N and the nativeness principle, and moving on to other irresistible delights such […]

From Moscow to MES

Sorry about yesterday’s evasion of duties. It’s raining now, however, so let’s get down to business by first fleshing out the incidents and practices yesterday’s post dangled cryptically in front of you. First the flight to Moscow, where I’d got into a long conversation with a businessman who’d been born in East Germany, was bilingual […]