The Nature of Pronunciation

  • Martha C. Pennington
  • Pamela Rogerson-Revell
Part of the Research and Practice in Applied Linguistics book series (RPAL)


Pronunciation is a component of language and communication that conveys many different kinds of meaning and encompasses linguistic competence at micro and macro levels for both production and perception of speech, comprising (i) the segmental level of individual phonemes (consonants and vowels) and (ii) the suprasegmental or prosodic level of connected speech that includes linking and coarticulation, tone and intonation, stress and rhythm, and voice quality and articulatory setting. Terms and concepts are introduced, and examples illustrate the multiple functions conveyed in communication by pronunciation, including speaker identity, and the potential for serious misunderstanding caused by pronunciation errors or differing conventions. It is seen how pronunciation goes far beyond correct articulation to incorporate multiple layers of language proficiency and types of communicative competence.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martha C. Pennington
    • 1
  • Pamela Rogerson-Revell
    • 2
  1. 1.SOAS and Birkbeck CollegeUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.EnglishUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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