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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education


An Introduction

ISBN 9780230224551
Publication Date January 2011
Formats Hardcover Ebook Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

Sociophonetics – the interface of sociolinguistics and phonetics – is a field that has expanded rapidly in recent years. A subject that requires both methodological and theoretical assessment for study, sociophonetics has never before been presented in a way that ties these fundamental strands together so successfully.

This comprehensive and user friendly introduction seamlessly marries the dual cores of sociophonetics into one accessible text.

In a methodical and structured approach, Sociophonetics: An Introduction:

§ Provides detailed analysis of phonetic variables, discussing consonants, vowels, prosody and voice quality
§ Includes clear and thorough explanations of how to measure linguistic phenomena and conduct acoustic analyses and perception experiments
§ Contains almost 200 illustrations of phonetic processes and 'field marks' for the examination of sociolinguistic variables
§ Covers a variety of theoretical approaches, including exemplar theory and cognitive sociolinguistics
§ Examines, through theoretical issues, how sociolinguistics, phonetics and cognitive linguistics are linked

Thomas' innovative and friendly introduction to sociophonetics presents both a guide for advanced beginners as well as a basis for further development of professional research.

ERIK R. THOMAS is Professor in the Department of English at North Carolina State University, USA. He has conducted research on various sociophonetic topics, including aspects of both production and perception. He is the author of An Acoustic Analysis of Vowel Variation in New World English and (with Walt Wolfram) The Development of Africa American English.

The Place of Sociophonetics
Voice Quality
Combinations of Different Types of Features
Variation and the Cognitive Processing of Sounds
Sound Change
Social Factors and Phonetics
Lateral Transfer


Sociophonetics: An Introduction will quickly become the standard text for students analyzing sound variation, as you would expect from someone of Thomas' stature in the field. This clearly written text fills an instructional gap and joins together strands of research in a thorough and organized manner' – Professor Thomas C. Purnell, University of Wisconsin
'Overall, what makes this text stand out as an excellent resource for sociophonetic research is its thorough handling of each topic, extensive coverage of such a wide range of practical, methodological and theoretical issues, and sheer readability. Thomas continually highlights gaps in existing knowledge, and suggests numerous possible avenues of exploration for budding (or established) sociophoneticians to study in the future. This text would be suitable for undergraduate or postgraduate study, or as a resource for seasoned researchers wanting to gain a knowledge and understanding of the key methodology of sociophonetics, and what- as an autonomous sub-discipline- it has to offer the larger linguistic community.' -International Phonetic Association
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