|Born||12 September 1881|
|Died||4 December 1967 86) (aged|
|Known for||The cardinal vowel diagram|
|Notable work||The English Pronouncing Dictionary|
Daniel Jones (12 September 1881 – 4 December 1967) was a London-born British phonetician who studied under Paul Passy, professor of phonetics at the École des Hautes Études at the Sorbonne (University of Paris). He was head of the department of phonetics at University College London.
In 1900, Jones studied briefly at William Tilly's Marburg Language Institute in Germany, where he was first introduced to phonetics. In 1903, he received his BA degree in mathematics at the University of Cambridge, converted by payment to MA in 1907. From 1905 to 1906, he studied in Paris under Paul Passy, who was one of the founders of the International Phonetic Association, and in 1911, he married Passy's niece Cyrille Motte. He briefly took private lessons from the British phonetician Henry Sweet.
In 1907, he became a part-time lecturer at the University College London and was afterwards appointed to a full-time position. In 1912, he became the head of the Department of Phonetics and was appointed to a chair in 1921, a post he held until his retirement in 1949. From 1906 onwards, Jones was an active member of the International Phonetic Association, and was assistant secretary from 1907 to 1927, secretary from 1927 to 1949, and president from 1950 to 1967.
In 1909, Jones wrote the short Pronunciation of English, a book he later radically revised. The resulting work, An Outline of English Phonetics, followed in 1918 and is the first truly comprehensive description of British Received Pronunciation, and the first such description of the standard pronunciation of any language.
The year 1917 was a landmark for Jones in many ways. He became the first linguist in the western world to use the term phoneme in its current sense, employing the word in his article "The phonetic structure of the Sechuana Language".Jones had made an earlier notable attempt at a pronunciation dictionary but it was now that he produced the first edition of his famous English Pronouncing Dictionary , a work which in revised form is still in print. It was here that the cardinal vowel diagram made a first appearance.
The problem of the phonetic description of vowels is of long standing, going back to the era of the ancient Indian linguists. Three nineteenth-century British phoneticians worked on this topic. Alexander Melville Bell (1867) devised a phonetic alphabet which included an elaborate system for vowels. Alexander John Ellis had also suggested vowel symbols for his phonetic alphabets. Sweet did much work on the systematic description of vowels, producing an elaborate system of vowel description involving a multitude of symbols. Jones however was the one who is generally credited with having gone much of the way towards a practical solution through his scheme of 'cardinal vowels', a relatively simple system of reference vowels which for many years has been taught systematically to students within the British tradition. Much of the inspiration for this scheme can be found in the earlier publications of Passy.
In the original form of the cardinal vowels, Jones employed a dual-parameter system of description based on the supposed height of the tongue arch together with the shape of the lips. This he reduced to a simple quadrilateral diagram which could be used to help visualize how vowels are articulated. Tongue height (close vs. open) is represented on the vertical axis and front vs. back on the horizontal axis indicates the portion of the tongue raised on the horizontal axis. Lip-rounding is also built into the system, so that front vowels (such as [i, e, a]) have spread or neutral lip postures, but the back vowels (such as [o, u]) have more marked lip-rounding as vowel height increases. Jones thus arrived at a set of eight "primary Cardinal Vowels", and recorded these on gramophone disc for HMV in 1917.
Later modifications to his theory allowed for an additional set of eight "secondary Cardinal Vowels" with reverse lip shapes, permitting the representation of eight secondary cardinal vowels (front rounded and back unrounded). Eventually, Jones also devised symbols for central vowels and positioned these on the vowel diagram. He made two further disc recordings for Linguaphone in 1943 and 1956.
With the passing years, the accuracy of many of Jones's statements on vowels has come increasingly under question, and most linguists now consider that the vowel quadrilateral must be viewed as a way of representing auditory space in visual form, rather than the tightly defined articulatory scheme envisaged by Jones. Nevertheless, the International Phonetic Association still uses a version of Jones's model, and includes a Jones-type vowel diagram on its influential International Phonetic Alphabet leaflet contained in the "Handbook of the International Association". Many phoneticians (especially those trained in the British school) resort to it constantly as a quick and convenient form of reference.
Although Jones is especially remembered for his work on the phonetics and phonology of English, he ranged far more widely. He produced phonetic/phonological treatments which were masterly for their time on the sound systems of Cantonese, Tswana (Sechuana as it was then known), Sinhalese, and Russian. He was the first phonetician to produce, in his "Sechuana Reader", a competent description of an African tone language, including the concept of downstep. Jones helped develop new alphabets for African languages, and suggested systems of romanisation for Indian languages and Japanese. He also busied himself with support for revised spelling for English through the Simplified Spelling Society.
Apart from his own vast array of published work, Jones acted as mentor to numerous scholars who later went on to become famous linguists in their own right. These included such names as Lilias Armstrong, Harold Palmer, Ida C. Ward, Hélène Coustenoble, Arthur Lloyd James, Dennis Fry, A. C. Gimson, Gordon Arnold, J.D. O'Connor, Clive Sansom, and many more. For several decades, his department at University College was pivotal in the development of phonetics and in making its findings known to the wider world. Beverley Collins and Inger M. Mees (1998) speculate that it is Jones, not as is often thought Sweet, who provided George Bernard Shaw with the basis for his fictional character Professor Henry Higgins in Pygmalion .
After retirement, Jones worked at his publications almost up to the end of his long life. He died at his home in Gerrards Cross on 4 December 1967.
Cardinal vowels are a set of reference vowels used by phoneticians in describing the sounds of languages. They are classified depending on the position of the tongue relative to the roof of the mouth, how far forward or back is the highest point of the tongue, and the position of the lips.
Received Pronunciation (RP) is the accent traditionally regarded as the standard and most prestigious form of spoken British English. For over a century, there has been argument over such questions as the definition of RP, whether it is geographically neutral, how many speakers there are, whether sub-varieties exist, how appropriate a choice it is as a standard and how the accent has changed over time. The name itself is controversial. RP is an accent, so the study of RP is concerned only with matters of pronunciation; other areas relevant to the study of language standards such as vocabulary, grammar, and style are not considered.
Phonetic transcription is the visual representation of speech sounds by means of symbols. The most common type of phonetic transcription uses a phonetic alphabet, such as the International Phonetic Alphabet.
The mid central vowel is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ə⟩, a rotated lowercase letter e, which is called a "schwa".
The open front unrounded vowel, or low front unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. It is one of the eight primary cardinal vowels, not directly intended to correspond to a vowel sound of a specific language but rather to serve as a fundamental reference point in a phonetic measuring system.
The open back unrounded vowel, or low back unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɑ⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is
A. The letter ⟨ɑ⟩ is called script a because it lacks the extra hook on top of a printed letter a, which corresponds to a different vowel, the open front unrounded vowel. Script a, which has its linear stroke on the bottom right, should not be confused with turned script a,, which has its linear stroke on the top left and corresponds to a rounded version of this vowel, the open back rounded vowel.
The close central rounded vowel, or high central rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʉ⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is
}. Both the symbol and the sound are commonly referred to as "barred u".
The close-mid front rounded vowel, or high-mid front rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages.
The close-mid central rounded vowel, or high-mid central rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɵ⟩, a lowercase barred letter o.
The open-mid back unrounded vowel or low-mid back unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʌ⟩, graphically a rotated lowercase "v", even though some vendors display it as a real turned v. Both the symbol and the sound are commonly referred to as a "wedge", "caret" or "hat". In transcriptions for English, this symbol is commonly used for the near-open central unrounded vowel and in transcriptions for Danish, it is used for the open back rounded vowel.
The open-mid back rounded vowel, or low-mid back rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɔ⟩. The IPA symbol is a turned letter c and both the symbol and the sound are commonly called "open-o". The name open-o represents the sound, in that it is like the sound represented by ⟨o⟩, the close-mid back rounded vowel, except it is more open. It also represents the symbol, which can be remembered as an o which has been "opened" by removing part of the closed circular shape.
The open-mid front rounded vowel, or low-mid front rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the sound is ⟨œ⟩. The symbol œ is a lowercase ligature of the letters o and e. The sound ⟨ɶ⟩, a small capital version of the ⟨Œ⟩ ligature, is used for a distinct vowel sound: the open front rounded vowel.
The near-close front unrounded vowel, or near-high front unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɪ⟩, i.e. a small capital version of the Latin letter i. The International Phonetic Association advises serifs on the symbol's ends. Some sans-serif fonts do meet this typographic specification. Prior to 1989, there was an alternate symbol for this sound: ⟨ɩ⟩, the use of which is no longer sanctioned by the IPA. Despite that, some modern writings still use it.
The near-close front rounded vowel, or near-high front rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages.
In phonetics, vowel roundedness is the amount of rounding in the lips during the articulation of a vowel. It is labialization of a vowel. When a rounded vowel is pronounced, the lips form a circular opening, and unrounded vowels are pronounced with the lips relaxed. In most languages, front vowels tend to be unrounded, and back vowels tend to be rounded. However, some languages, such as French, German and Icelandic, distinguish rounded and unrounded front vowels of the same height, and Vietnamese distinguishes rounded and unrounded back vowels of the same height. Alekano has only unrounded vowels. In the International Phonetic Alphabet vowel chart, rounded vowels are the ones that appear on the right in each pair of vowels. There are also diacritics, U+0339◌̹COMBINING RIGHT HALF RING BELOW and U+031C◌̜COMBINING LEFT HALF RING BELOW, to indicate greater and lesser degrees of rounding, respectively. Thus has less rounding than cardinal, and has more. These diacritics can also be used with unrounded vowels: is more spread than cardinal, and is less spread than cardinal.
Paul Édouard Passy was a French linguist, founder of the International Phonetic Association in 1886. He took part in the elaboration of the International Phonetic Alphabet.
The International Phonetic Alphabet was created soon after the International Phonetic Association was established in the late 19th century. It was intended as an international system of phonetic transcription for oral languages, originally for pedagogical purposes. The Association was established in Paris in 1886 by French and British language teachers led by Paul Passy. The prototype of the alphabet appeared in Phonetic Teachers' Association (1888b). The Association based their alphabet upon the Romic alphabet of Henry Sweet, which in turn was based on the Phonotypic Alphabet of Isaac Pitman and the Palæotype of Alexander John Ellis.
The near-close near-back rounded vowel, or near-high near-back rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The IPA symbol that represents this sound is ⟨ʊ⟩. It is informally called "horseshoe u". Prior to 1989, there was an alternative IPA symbol for this sound, ⟨ɷ⟩, called "closed omega"; use of this symbol is no longer sanctioned by the IPA. In Americanist phonetic notation, the symbol ⟨ᴜ⟩ is used. Sometimes, especially in broad transcription, this vowel is transcribed with a simpler symbol ⟨u⟩, which technically represents the close back rounded vowel.
Lilias Eveline Armstrong was an English phonetician. She worked at University College London, where she attained the rank of reader. Armstrong is most known for her work on English intonation as well as the phonetics and tone of Somali and Kikuyu. Her book on English intonation, written with Ida C. Ward, was in print for 50 years. Armstrong also provided some of the first detailed descriptions of tone in Somali and Kikuyu.
Carl Adolf Theodor Wilhelm Viëtor was a German phonetician and language educator. He was a central figure in the Reform Movement in language education of the late 19th century, which sought to replace the traditional grammar–translation method with oral language teaching.