Sociophonetics Book Cover

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Tyler Kendall & Valerie Fridland (2021)

Welcome to the website supporting the book Sociophonetics (2021) by Tyler Kendall and Valerie Fridland. This website provides resources, such as audio files and processing scripts, discussed in the book. It also provides links to other sociophonetic resources on the web.

For more information about the book, please see our publisher's website. You can also find other links to the book on the web, to the left.

What is sociophonetics? Why this book?

Sociophonetics focuses on the everyday speech of everyday people - it seeks to provide realistic theories of language processing that allow for, and even welcome, the role of socially embedded speaker-based information. Over the past few decades, sociophonetics has rapidly developed, with interest by sociolinguists, psycholinguists, speech scientists, phoneticians, and phonologists. Bridging the insights and methods of these fields, Sociophonetics, the newest title in Cambridge University Press' Key Topics in Sociolinguistics series, presents an overview of sociophonetics – its major theoretical questions and major research methodologies.

The research questions driving this emergent new field are immensely broad and cover the great scope of the core questions driving the field of linguistics. What is the relationship between language and speech? How and why do languages change? How do speakers and listeners make use of speech variability and how do speakers and listeners cope with the great extent of speech variability? The book Sociophonetics attempts to synthesize the varied empirical threads that have fueled the development of the field and to outline its potential to address the questions of the future.

Starting with contemporary practices utilized in the field, and focusing on vowels and sibilants to make specific points and to illustrate more general principles, the book synthesizes the contributory work that can be brought to bear on the nature of linguistic variation and speech processing. In particular, the book considers how the development of sociolinguistic and sociophonetic research informs four broad arenas, each of which connect to major threads in the larger world of language study: regional dialectology, social identity and group affiliation, personal identity and linguistic style, and sound change. The book also views work on speech perception as an integral part of the sociophonetic enterprise, with a section on speech perception and processing closing most chapters. Finally, the book offers a current critique of the state-of-the-art and considers more generally how sociophonetics can be defined and how it fits into the larger speech science and applied language framework, offering suggestions for the direction of the field.

As much of the book's coverage builds on research in speech production and perception, we provide a number of examples throughout the text based on audio files that readers may wish to spend more time exploring or use to practice some of the analytic methods described in the book. This website provides additional information and files that support the content of the book. It also compiles links to other important sociophonetic resources on the Internet. Please use the menu at the top of the page to explore this website.

     © Tyler Kendall & Valerie Fridland, Last Mod: January 25, 2023