Preface to the Ninth Edition
It is now forty-two years since this book first appeared. It
was re-written (as a third edition) in 1932, and the fourth to the
seventh editions were in the main reprints of the third, except that
an Appendix on American Pronunciation was added in the seventh
edition (1949). 1 In 1956 the time arrived for issuing the book in
a completely revised form incorporating all the improvements that
had occurred to me, or had been suggested to me by colleagues,
in the course of the previous twenty years.
Some of the alterations in the eighth edition were rendered
necessary by the fact that the pronunciation of English has undergone
changes. 2 Others were attributable to the discovery of new
phonetic facts and by advances in our knowledge of phonetic theory.
Others again were merely improvements in the mode of presenting
facts which have long been known.
The following is a list of the major additions and alterations
which were carried out in the eighth edition. An important
footnote concerning ‘Received Pronunciation’ and transcription
was appended to § 64. As the use of a vowel a intermediate
between æ and ɑ in such words as ask, plant is now obsolete,
the old §§ 294, 295 relating to that sound were replaced
by new ones dealing with the distribution of æ and ɑː
vin various words. Parts of the book relating to diphthongs were
considerably developed: the former § 378 was expanded
into three paragraphs; a necessary distinction was drawn
between two classes of words containing the diphthong uə, and
this necessitated re-writing §§460-463; the subject of the
‘rising’ diphthongs ĭə and ŭə, as in glorious, influence, was
dealt with at some length in twenty-one new paragraphs (§§ 466a-466u),
and some information concerning a few other less common
diphthongs was supplied in three further new paragraphs (§§ 466v-466x).
Several paragraphs in the chapters on assimilation and
elision were re-cast, and Fig. 116, illustrating the assimilation
tj > ʧ, was re-drawn in a more accurate form; the term
‘coalescent assimilation’ was introduced for the first time
(§837). The definition of stress was improved (§909), and
§§ 914-916, 919 and 920 in the chapters on stress were considerably
elaborated. A few additions were made in the
chapter on intonation. A chapter of some importance was
added on syllable separation (Chap. XXXII). A new Appendix of
twenty pages on Types of Phonetic Transcription replaced the
previous single page of rules for converting a ‘broad’ transcription
of English into a ‘narrower’ one. And finally the Appendix on
American Pronunciation was revised and enlarged.
The old numbering of paragraphs and footnotes was adhered
to as far as possible, so that references to earlier editions remain
in the main correct. Added paragraphs were distinguished by
putting a, b, etc., after the number of the preceding paragraph.
The present (ninth) edition is a reprint of the eighth incorporating
a few necessary corrections.
As in previous editions, Figs. 3, 4, 15-22, 88, 89 and 90 are
photographs of my mouth. The other photographs (Figs. 36,
38, etc.) are of the mouth of my late brother Arnold Jones, whose
pronunciation of English was almost identical with mine.
I am indebted to several friends, and particularly to Mr. David
Abercrombie, Head of the Department of Phonetics in the University
of Edinburgh, to Mr. J. L. M. Trim, Lecturer in Phonetics in
the University of Cambridge, and to Miss B. Honikman, for helpful
suggestions for this edition. Mr. Abercrombie has made a special
study for some years of problems connected with the elaboration of
different types of phonetic transcription. He very kindly put all
his findings at my disposal when I was drafting the new Appendix
A, and they proved invaluable to me. Mr. Trim too has been
interesting himself in the same problems, and made me a number
of excellent recommendations. In particular, the wording of the
definition of ‘broad transcription’ in § 5 of Appendix A is his; I
find it to be a considerable improvement on other definitions that
have been proposed. Mr. Trim has also aided me by pointing out
several instances where stressings different from those to which I
am accustomed are now in use, and by calling my attention to
some examples in the seventh edition which for some other reason
were not entirely appropriate. His notes enabled me to make
a number of improvements in Chapter XXIX. Lastly I would
express special thanks to my colleague, Miss A. D. Parkinson,
for much assistance in connexion with the preparation of the
In this 1962 reprint the expression ‘syllable division’ has been
changed to ‘syllable separation’ wherever it occurred in previous
editions. The § 555 and footnote 15 of the last reprint have been
deleted, and a new paragraph (numbered 560) replaces that footnote.
1 That edition was, like all previous editions, printed and published by
the B. G. Teubner Verlag in Leipzig. It was reproduced in England, by
arrangement, by W. Heffer and Sons of Cambridge, who, with the consent
of the B. G. Teubner Verlag, printed and published the eighth edition.
2 The following are a few instances. A relatively new variant of the
diphthong here written with ei has become very common (§ 388). Words
like lost, cross, cloth are now pronounced with ɔ much more commonly than
with ɔː, so that alterations had to be made in §§ 300 and 308. Many
Southern English people now hardly use ‘linking r’ at all (§ 758). Changes
of stress have been taking place in many words: some words, such as great-coat
(§§ 947 (i), 954), which used to have double stress are now often said
with single stress on the first syllable; and several words like hospitable,
justifiable, controversy, which I have been accustomed to stress on the first
syllable (ˈhɔspitəbl, ˈʤʌstifaiəbl, ˈkɔntrəvəːsi) are now often said with
stress on another syllable (hɔsˈpitəbl, ʤʌstiˈfaiəbl, kənˈtrɔvəːsi).
3 This booklet, which illustrates the use of the phonetic alphabet by
transcripts of 51 languages, is obtainable from the Secretary of the Association,
Department of Phonetics, University College, London, W.C.1.