The Pronunciation Judgment Test, 1939–1978

An Approach to American Pronunciation
  • John W. Black
Part of the Cognition and Language: A Series in Psycholinguistics book series (CALS)


In the 1930s and earlier teachers of speech paid considerable attention to pronunciation. The popular Speech Handbook by Harry Barnes (1936, 1941) included a form on which teachers might grade students’ speeches. One of the 11 items was pronunciation. This form was representative of ones that were in popular use. The accompanying textual material devoted a chapter to each of the items of the score sheet. An inference to be drawn by a student was that speech composition and delivery were of equal importance and that each was equal to the sum of its parts. A program for a theatrical production at a midwestern university often included on the production staff a “Director of Diction.”


International Dictionary Open Admission Production Staff Collegiate Dictionary Variant Pronunciation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    This procedure has been largely superseded by more sophisticated ones in the United States; however, it remains current in many regions of central and southern Europe.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See Wise (1958) for Thomas Sheridan’s avowed purpose in writing the General Dictionary of the English Language, 1780: “One main object of which, is, to establish a plain and permanent Standard of Pronunciation.”.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    At the risk of being both boorish and paternalistic, the authors recommend a rereading of the cryptic Preface to Pygmalion, possibly the only brief essay Shaw ever wrote.Google Scholar


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • John W. Black
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of CommunicationOhio State UniversityUSA

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