John C. Wells

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ISBN 0-415-08068-1.
  • 1995 Age grading in English pronunciation preferences. In: Proceedings of ICPhS 95, Stockholm, vol. 3:696–699.
  • 1996 Why phonetic transcription is important. In: Malsori (Journal of the Phonetic Society of Korea) 31–32, S. 239–242.
  • 1997 What's happening to Received Pronunciation?. In: English Phonetics (English Phonetic Society of Japan), 1, S. 13–23.
  • 1997 Our changing pronunciation. In: Transactions of the Yorkshire Dialect Society xix, S. 42–48
  • 1997 One of three named "main technical authors" for Part IV, Spoken language reference materials. In: D. Gibbon u.a. (Hrsg.): Handbook of Standards and Resources for Spoken Language Systems. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1997.
  • 1997 Whatever happened to Received Pronunciation? In: Medina & Soto (Hrsg): II Jornadas de Estudios Ingleses, Universidad de Jaén, Spain, S. 19–28.
  • 1997 Is RP turning into Cockney?. In: M. P. Dvorzhetska, A. A. Kalita (Hrsg.): Studies in Communicative Phonetics and Foreign Language Teaching Methodology. Kyiv State Linguistic University, Ukraine, S. 10–15.
  • 1999 Which pronunciation do you prefer?. In: IATEFL Bd. 149, June–July 1999, "The Changing Language", S. 10–11.
  • 1999 Pronunciation preferences in British English. A new survey. In: Proc. of the 14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, San Francisco, 1999.
  • 2000 British English pronunciation preferences. A changing scene. In: Journal of the International Phonetic Association (1999) 29 (1), S. 33–50.
  • 2000 Overcoming phonetic interference. In: English Phonetics (Journal of the English Phonetic Society of Japan), Nr. 3, S. 9–21.
  • 2001 Orthographic diacritics. In: Language Problems and Language Planning 24.3.
  • 2002 John Wells. In: K. Brown, V. Law (Hrsg.): Linguistics in Britain. Personal histories. Publications of the Philological Society, 36. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • 2002 Accents in Britain today. In: Ewa Waniek-Klimczak, Patrick J. Melia (Hrsg.): Accents and Speech in Teaching English Phonetics and Phonology. Lang, Frankfurt/M. 2002 [2003]. ISBN   3-631-39616-3, S. 9–17.
  • 2003 Phonetic research by written questionnaire. In: M. J. Solé, u.a. (Hrsg.): Proc. 15th Int. Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Barcelona, R.4.7:4
  • 2003 Phonetic symbols in word processing and on the web. In: M. J. Solé u.a. (Hrsg..): Proc. 15th Int. Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Barcelona, S.2.8:6
  • Monographs


    Related Research Articles

    American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. English is the most widely spoken language in the United States and in most circumstances is the de facto common language used in government, education and commerce. Since the 20th century, American English has become the most influential form of English worldwide.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Daniel Jones (phonetician)</span> British phonetician (1881–1967)

    Daniel Jones was a London-born British phonetician who studied under Paul Passy, professor of phonetics at the École des Hautes Études at the Sorbonne. He was head of the department of phonetics at University College London.

    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.

    A vowel is a syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of speech sounds, the other being the consonant. Vowels vary in quality, in loudness and also in quantity (length). They are usually voiced and are closely involved in prosodic variation such as tone, intonation and stress.

    General American English, known in linguistics simply as General American, is the umbrella accent of American English spoken by a majority of Americans, encompassing a continuum rather than a single unified accent. In the United States it is often perceived as lacking any distinctly regional, ethnic, or socioeconomic characteristics, though Americans with high education, or from the North Midland, Western New England, and Western regions of the country are the most likely to be perceived as using General American speech. The precise definition and usefulness of the term continue to be debated, and the scholars who use it today admittedly do so as a convenient basis for comparison rather than for exactness. Other scholars prefer the term Standard American English.

    Estuary English is an English accent associated with the area along the River Thames and its estuary, including London. Phonetician John C. Wells proposed a definition of Estuary English as "Standard English spoken with the accent of the southeast of England". He views Estuary English as an emerging standard accent of England: an "intermediate" between the 20th-century higher-class non-regional standard accent, Received Pronunciation, and the 20th-century lower-class local London accent, Cockney. There is some debate among linguists as to where Cockney speech ends and Estuary English begins.

    Scottish English is the set of varieties of the English language spoken in Scotland. The transregional, standardised variety is called Scottish Standard English or Standard Scottish English (SSE). Scottish Standard English may be defined as "the characteristic speech of the professional class [in Scotland] and the accepted norm in schools". IETF language tag for "Scottish Standard English" is en-scotland.

    English phonology is the system of speech sounds used in spoken English. Like many other languages, English has wide variation in pronunciation, both historically and from dialect to dialect. In general, however, the regional dialects of English share a largely similar phonological system. Among other things, most dialects have vowel reduction in unstressed syllables and a complex set of phonological features that distinguish fortis and lenis consonants.

    Stress is a prominent feature of the English language, both at the level of the word (lexical stress) and at the level of the phrase or sentence (prosodic stress). Absence of stress on a syllable, or on a word in some cases, is frequently associated in English with vowel reduction – many such syllables are pronounced with a centralized vowel (schwa) or with certain other vowels that are described as being "reduced". Various phonological analyses exist for these phenomena.

    Linking R and intrusive R are sandhi or linking phenomena involving the appearance of the rhotic consonant between two consecutive morphemes where it would not normally be pronounced. These phenomena occur in many non-rhotic varieties of English, such as those in most of England and Wales, parts of the United States, and all of the Anglophone societies of the southern hemisphere, with the exception of South Africa. These phenomena first appeared in English sometime after the year 1700.

    This chart shows the most common applications of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to represent English language pronunciations.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">R-colored vowel</span> Phonetic sound in some languages

    In phonetics, an r-colored or rhotic vowel is a vowel that is modified in a way that results in a lowering in frequency of the third formant. R-colored vowels can be articulated in various ways: the tip or blade of the tongue may be turned up during at least part of the articulation of the vowel or the back of the tongue may be bunched. In addition, the vocal tract may often be constricted in the region of the epiglottis.

    In English, many vowel shifts affect only vowels followed by in rhotic dialects, or vowels that were historically followed by that has been elided in non-rhotic dialects. Most of them involve the merging of vowel distinctions and so fewer vowel phonemes occur before than in other positions of a word.

    A pronunciation respelling for English is a notation used to convey the pronunciation of words in the English language, which do not have a phonemic orthography.

    A lexical set is a group of words that all share a particular phonological feature.

    The English language spoken and written in England encompasses a diverse range of accents and dialects. The language forms part of the broader British English, along with other varieties in the United Kingdom. Terms used to refer to the English language spoken and written in England include: English English and Anglo-English.

    Rhoticity in English is the pronunciation of the historical rhotic consonant by English speakers. The presence or absence of rhoticity is one of the most prominent distinctions by which varieties of English can be classified. In rhotic varieties, the historical English sound is preserved in all pronunciation contexts. In non-rhotic varieties, speakers no longer pronounce in postvocalic environments—that is, when it is immediately after a vowel and not followed by another vowel. For example, in isolation, a rhotic English speaker pronounces the words hard and butter as /ˈhɑːrd/ and /ˈbʌtər/, whereas a non-rhotic speaker "drops" or "deletes" the sound, pronouncing them as /ˈhɑːd/ and /ˈbʌtə/. When an r is at the end of a word but the next word begins with a vowel, as in the phrase "better apples", most non-rhotic speakers will pronounce the in that position, since it is followed by a vowel in this case.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">Lilias Armstrong</span> British phonetician (1882-1937)

    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.

    The pronunciation of the phoneme in the English language has many variations in different dialects.

    The English Pronouncing Dictionary (EPD) was created by the British phonetician Daniel Jones and was first published in 1917. It originally comprised over 50,000 headwords listed in their spelling form, each of which was given one or more pronunciations transcribed using a set of phonemic symbols based on a standard accent. The dictionary is now in its 18th edition. John C. Wells has written of it "EPD has set the standard against which other dictionaries must inevitably be judged".


    1. 1 2 "Professor J. C. Wells: brief curriculum vitae". UCL Psychology & Language Sciences.
    2. "On the Retirement of Emeritus Professor John Christopher Wells". Retrieved 12 April 2014.
    3. "Linguaphone Academic Advisory Committee". Linguaphone Group. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
    4. 1 2 3 4 "My personal history". UCL Psychology & Language Sciences. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2008.
    5. "click farewell". John Wells's phonetic blog. 22 April 2013.
    6. Wells (1982)
    7. The Oxford English Dictionary documentation of the word's first use is as follows: "rhotic ... 1968J. C. Wells in Progress Rep. Phonetics Lab. Univ. Coll. London (unpublished) June 56 It was possible to divide respondents into three categories: A. (non-rhotic) Those who had nonprevocalic r-colouring neither for ‑er nor for ‑a; B. (rhotic) Those who had nonprevocalic r-colouring for ‑er but not for ‑a; C. (hyperrhotic)." Cf. Wells's Twitter account at
    8. 1 2 John C Wells (1 December 1978) [Placed on the web 7 April 1999]. "Review of the Linguistic Atlas of England". The Times Higher Education Supplement via UCL Psychology & Language Sciences.
    9. Petyt, K. M. (1982). "Reviews: J. C. Wells: Accents of English". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. Cambridge. 12 (2): 104–112. doi:10.1017/S0025100300002516. S2CID   146349564 . Retrieved 6 January 2013.
    10. "David Cameron's speech in full". The Guardian. 1 October 2008.
    11. "J C Wells - personal history". Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2008.
    12. Wells, John (16 March 2012). "John Wells's phonetic blog: English places".
    13. "John and Gabriel". UCL Psychology & Language Sciences.
    14. "London Gay Men's Chorus - 'It Gets Better' Episode 2". London Gay Men's Chorus. 25 November 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
    John C. Wells
    2008-07-21 uk iku wells 02.JPG
    John C. Wells in the Netherlands in 2008
    John Christopher Wells

    (1939-03-11) 11 March 1939 (age 84)
    Bootle, Lancashire, England [1]
    Academic background
    Thesis Phonological Adaptation in the Speech of Jamaicans in the London Area  (1971)
    Doctoral advisor Joseph Desmond O'Connor