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Systems for the Phonetic Transcription of English: Theory and Texts

In collaboration with Inmaculada Arboleda


Rafael Monroy Casas

This book covers in a systematic way the main systems of phonetic transcription currently used for English. Unlike other texts in the market, which focus on just one type of transcriptional model, the book provides theoretical information and full practice for all systems.
The material is divided into seven sections headed by a lengthy introduction to the history and development of the International Phonetic Alphabet. A set of eighteen samples from real contemporary colloquial English (British English), graded in terms of difficulty, follows. The accent chosen is the one known as RP or BBC English, with some minor concession to other regional varieties which do not stray dramatically from RP. Different models of representation are used under three main transcription systems: qualitative, quantitative and mixed. By using an identical set of texts in ordinary spelling for each system, the reader can constantly check different ways of transcribing a word or an utterance depending on the model used.


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III. Corpus of oral texts 61


III. Corpus of oral texts 62 63 1. The weather forecast1 1 And now the weather forecast. And I hope you enjoyed the Summer yesterday because it may not last much longer. England and Wales will start dry and sunny but clouds will increase in the West this morning with rain in places spreading East to all parts by this evening. Rainfall amounts will be very small in the South, many places staying dry, but there may be some heavier outbreaks in North-West England. 10 Rain, heavy in places in Western Scotland and Northern Ireland, will spread to Eastern Scotland this morning, followed by brighter weather with showers. Temperatures similar to, or a little higher, than yesterday’s. Winds light or moderate southerly. 15 The outlook: a few showers in the north at first, but all places becoming dry, sunny and warm, although later some outbreaks of heavy rain may spread to southern districts. 1 Our thanks to Liz Murphy, Cathy Staveley, Keith Gregor and David Walton for their availability in the recording of these texts. 64 2. Unemployment 1 The stark fact that unemployment in Britain has now reached 1.9 million – a level not seen since the mid-thirties – provides this morning’s papers with their main theme. 5 The Daily Express sums it up: ‘A job lost every twenty seconds’. And The Mirror forecasts that by Christmas two million will be out of work – enough to form a dole queue streching from Land’s End to John O’Groats. The Times says the...

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