The Sounds of French: An Introduction

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This introductory textbook is principally addressed to English speakers who want systematically to improve their pronunciation of French - whether relative beginners or more advanced students. It describes the difficulties typically encountered, explains why they occur. and suggests ways to resolve them. It also explains how certain properties of the French sound system came about as the language changed over time, and it includes an examination of the relationship between French spelling and French pronunciation. Although focusing on the pronunciation of standard French, different pronunciations in other varieties of French (Quebec French, Southern French, etc.) are also considered. In addition, from a more theoretical perspective, the book provides readers with a fundamental understanding of the way French sounds are produced and how they behave according to general linguistic principles. Overall the book stands as a multifaceted introduction to French sounds, drawing for its account on contrastive analysis, general phonetics, traditional knowledge and modern developments in phonology, historical linguistics, and orthography. Teachers of French will welcome Bernard Tranel's wide scholarship and firm grasp of teaching principles, while students will welcome the refreshing clarity of style and organization.