British Dialects Book

Gordon, Matthew J. GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Sat Sep 21 02:22:07 UTC 2002

Even assuming that Wendalyn meant phonemic *representations* and not pronunciations, I don't think the difference here is phonemic vs. phonetic.
Don't non-US dictionaries still use phonemic representations even if they use IPA for those representations? They don't represent allophonic differences (e.g., aspiration in English), do they?

Anyway, is IPA used in British dictionaries? If so, why wouldn't Trudgill have used it in the first edition of his book. His audience was primarily Brits.


>I don't understand what a phonemic (since it is a mental
>representation) pronunciation is. Nobody ever pronounced a phoneme.

>Chiming in late, due to posting problems: since IPA constitutes
>"dictionary-style definitions" for pretty much the whole planet other than
>the US, can we distinguish between "phonemic" (US-style) and "phonetic"
>prons rather than assuming we're normative and the rest of the linguistic
>world is abnormal?
>Winking, but not n jest,
>Wendalyn Nichols
>At 05:41 AM 9/15/02 -0400, Frank Abate wrote:
>In reply to what Sali says below, what makes linguists abnormal is that they
>use IPA without complaint, AND want others to do the same.
>Partly in jest,
>Frank Abate
>At 05:45 PM 9/14/2002 -0500, Matthew Gordon wrote:
>>The second edition of Trudgill's book includes IPA as well as the
>>dictionary-type respellings making it useful to linguists as well as
>>normal people.
>      I did not know linguistics made its practitioners abnormal! I once
>heard this kind of distinction from the manager of an apartment building
>where I stayed at the LSA Institute at UIUC (1999). He said that linguists
>were only on my floor and a second one. All the other floors were occupied
>by "normal people." I stared at him wondering what made linguists abnormal.

Dennis R. Preston
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics and Languages
740 Wells Hall A
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 USA
Office - (517) 353-0740
Fax - (517) 432-2736

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