Hey everyone, I'm very excited to hear that your copies are arriving or in transit. I really hope you all like the book as much as I do.
Chapter 1 is something of a general introduction, and chapter 2 is where the guided experiments start. So just in case chapter 1 seems a little theoretical, I encourage you to hold out for the experiments. Starting at the beginning of chapter 2, everything will be grounded in things you can try yourself.
Since that direct experience is such an important aspect of the book, those first two chapters together might be a good amount for us to read to start up the discussion. (Chapter 1 is about 10 pages and chapter 2 is about 20 pages.)
Please feel free to ask any questions as you go along.
And I'm basically up for anything with respect to timing. As books arrive, people could dig in as soon as they like, and we could see as we go if it makes sense to sync up to some extent or if people would prefer to just read at their own pace. I'm totally up for either.
I'm going through a stressful interpersonal situation at the moment, and I'm hoping it will be resolved in about a week, but it could be two. Since not everyone has their book yet, I'm thinking I'll wait to start my own reread so I can really give it my attention. But no need to wait for me to get started, or to hold off on asking questions (a little phonetics would be a nice respite).
Deinonysus wrote:I strenuously deny these heinous allegations of being knowledgeable and experienced, but looking forward to going over the book. My copy just arrived today!
Thanks for the laugh, it did me good. Really hope you enjoy the book and looking forward to the discussion!
tangleweeds wrote:My copy is theoretically on the way. Amazon says it's arriving Wednesday, but the (probably erroneous) tracking number I got said it was already delivered to Hilo, Hawaii last week. I'm really looking forward to getting it.
Hi tangleweeds, hope it's the former and you get your book! Wonderful to have you on board!
blackcoffee wrote:This sounds really interesting! I have wished for a long time that I could remember IPA or even know for sure exactly what sound was being represented. Even when I hear a sound I'm not sure of it moments later.
Same. I think my biggest problem with IPA is that explanations I've seen thus far are generally explained by way of example words in English and in such a way that I'm not sure that the person doing the explaining is aware that different accents even exist. I can't recall which off the top of my head, but I remember being particularly annoyed by certain vowels and th sounds that sound identical in my everyday speech.
Since this textbook seems to take a different tack, it looks much more useful. I can't order it right now but I do hope to order it in the future.
Hi annelions, I'm so sorry, I meant to respond much sooner. I ended up writing quite a lot, and then I worried that it would be too much without the book as an anchor. So the short version is, I think you're absolutely right. English vowels vary enormously across different accents, so they don't make very good reference points. It would help if the variety of English was specified and if that variety was one that everyone involved was familiar with, but even then, comparing vowels in different languages or even different accents is very tricky.
The book does indeed take a different approach. For one thing, it introduces more reliable reference points for vowels, but that comes toward the end. The early chapters are mainly about becoming familiar with the vocal tract and how you can shape it to make different sounds. As you try out a new shape and sound, a new audible gesture, you also get the IPA symbol that's associated with it. So the symbols are introduced gradually and associated with vivid experience, which I think makes them easier to learn. At this point, a given symbol really represents a kind
of shape and sound you can make, a category. And then later, you see how the same symbols are used more or less on a "closest fit" basis to represent the phonemic inventories of specific languages or accents.
I'm probably getting too far ahead though, so I'll stop there. I still have the long version as a draft, so thanks for inspiring me to write it, and I'll probably incorporate some of it as we go along. Also, I read your log, and things may have already changed, but I think it's really cool that you're learning Croatian while in Croatia and I hope you can travel again soon.