American English Phonetics

Another American English Faculty Project

If all is well, you will have wondered when you were going to be told about how all these vowels and consonants of English (say, GA /æ/ or /ʊ/, or GA /θ/ or /r/) are pronounced. Knowing that back is transcribed /bæk/ and that son is transcribed /sʌn/ does not of course guarantee that we can pronounce these words correctly. After all, a transcription system is really a spelling system that does not have the disadvantage of obscuring the pronunciation of words. In addition to knowing where particular phonemes occur, however, we need to know how they are pronounced.