This text introduces undergraduates to the basic tools and concepts necessary for the outline description of English phonological systems and processes. By working through the book and the various exercises included, students should come to understand the need for a dedicated system of description and transcription of speech sounds, and for a degree of phonological abstraction. They should learn to carry out elementary, broad phonetic transcription, and be able to establish contrastive vowel and consonant systems for their own varieties and to express simple generalizations reflecting the productive and predictable patterns of English sounds.
April McMahon is Head of the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. She has research interests in phonological theory and in the history and varieties of English, and her previous books include Understanding Language Change, Lexical Phonology and the History of English and Change, Chance, and Optimality.