Assuming no prior knowledge of the subject, this book provides an introductory account of topics covered in courses in phonology and phonetics. It gives attention to the fundamental of speech production as well as to phonological description and analysis.
The early chapters describe the organs of speech, survey the wide variety of speech sounds that can be found in the world's languages, and explain basic principles of phonological organization. A separate chapter is devoted to the generative approach to phonology, and another to the acoustics of speech production, providing information that will prove useful as reference material.
The phenomena of stress, tone and intonation are dealt with in a chapter on prosody, and several descriptive systems of speech components or features are also summarized and reviewed. The final chapter draws the book together by looking back over the theoretical issues that have been raised and by giving a historical survey of ways of thinking and talking about speech.