Latest Posts

  • 2nd October 2007

International Phonetic Alphabet

In last week’s post I provided phonetic transcriptions of some example words using the International Phonetic Alphabet, or IPA for short. I thought it would be helpful to follow that up with some information about what the IPA is, and how to read it. And as a bonus, after learning about IPA transcription you will be able to better read pronunciation guides on Wikipedia. …

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  • 24th September 2007

Anatomy of a Syllable

The syllable is a constant feature in every spoken language in the world. Each language has its own rules about what kinds of syllables are allowed, and what kinds aren’t - but the general structure is the same everywhere. …

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  • 17th September 2007


When someone says to you, “here” or “now”, you probably know what he means. “Here” might the room that you are both sitting in. “Now” would be the span of time you spent sitting together. But if either word were uttered under different circumstances, it could mean something very different. For example, if I called you from the Andes and I used the word, “here”, it would mean a mountainside somewhere - possibly thousands of miles away from the aforementioned room. The same word can mean both the room and the mountainside because of deixis. …

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