Linguistics: An Introduction
Andrew Radford et.al., 1999

A Thorough Treatment
This seems to be a generally thorough and well-thought-out treatment of the basics of the science of linguistics. (See below for exceptions). Since my adbication of linguistics, a number of new terms have come into use, especially in theoretical syntax. My real need for the book was to get this update. Radford, et.al. seem to have met that need. On the other hand, I have not lost touch with phonetics. In this area, I will be more demanding.

Unbiassed Treatment of Controversial Items
In svereal cases, Radford et.al. have done a laudable job of discussing some controversial issues in an unbiassed and even-handed way. Such matters include animal experimentation, sociolinguistic effects involving class, subculture, and ...

They Are Different To Us
Do Brits typically say something is different to something else? I had not heard this one.

Phonetic Transcription
Just after reading that we need a
transcription system which has one symbol per sound and one sound per symbol, we are told that we will use the IPA, which does not meet this criterion. The IPA symbols are understood to be interpreted in a language-specific manner and based on the specific phonemic structure of the language. I hope they clear that up before proceeding.

Acoustics
I mention this, because it's missing. Other than a very brief opening statement in the intro to this chapter, there is no further mention of formant frequencies, glottal periodicity, or any of the other acoustic facts which are centrally relevant to how a word sounds.

Prosody is "Stress, Tone and Intonation" --- What???
What happened to loudness and duration? I believe a more usual treatment would be to define prosody in terms of pitch, loudness and duration, with stress as one of the sentential markers communicated by prosody. Other such sentential markers would include phrase and clause boundaries.
MacNeilage defines intonation as the "global pattern of fundamental frequency (the rate of vocal fold vibration)". What do Radford, et al, have in mind by listing both "tone" and "intonation"? Clearly, there is something wrong here.


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