Sound Foundations. What’s General in Applied Phonetics?

Patricia Ashby


Focusing on general phonetics and its role in the world today, this paper explores what the term really means. Against a historical background, it outlines the development of general phonetics from its Victorian inception to the present day. It looks at the theoretical and practical sides of the subject (including ear-training and production training), and summarizes the IPA Certificate examination syllabus [1, 2]. The paper considers the impact of reduced training opportunities and asks what this means for availability of expertise in terms of the widening demand for qualified practitioners. Arguing the importance of general phonetics in the modern world, the paper further seeks to encourage and promote the subjects’ future security. It asks whether general phonetics is the same today as a century ago and whether we need it. Additionally, the paper seeks to clarify the confusion which seems to exist for some people today between the ‘pure’and‘applied’forms of the subject [3].


 DOI: 10.21437/ISAPh.2016-2

Cite as: Ashby, P. (2016) Sound Foundations. What’s General in Applied Phonetics?. Proc. ISAPh 2016 International Symposium on Applied Phonetics, 5-14, DOI: 10.21437/ISAPh.2016-2.


@inproceedings{Ashby2016,
  author={Patricia Ashby},
  title={Sound Foundations. What’s General in Applied Phonetics?},
  year=2016,
  booktitle={Proc. ISAPh 2016 International Symposium on Applied Phonetics},
  pages={5--14},
  doi={10.21437/ISAPh.2016-2},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/ISAPh.2016-2}
}