FREE Delivery in the UK.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Sounds of the Worlds Lang... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Like New | Details
Sold by Wordery
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: This fine as new copy is waiting for you in our UK warehouse and should be with you within 4-5 working days via Royal Mail.
Trade in your item
Get a £9.66
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Sounds of the Worlds Languages (Phonological Theory) Paperback – 17 Jan 1996

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
£23.36 £23.58
£31.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • When you trade in £15 or more you’ll receive an additional £5 Gift Card for the next time you spend £10 or more.

Frequently Bought Together

Sounds of the Worlds Languages (Phonological Theory) + A History of the English Language
Price For Both: £59.98

Buy the selected items together

Trade In this Item for up to £9.66
Trade in Sounds of the Worlds Languages (Phonological Theory) for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £9.66, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (17 Jan. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631198156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631198154
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 2.7 x 24.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 471,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


"Scholarly account which frequently challenges many of the traditional concepts in phonetic and linguistic theory." W. J. Hardcastle, Queen Margaret College

"The Sounds of the World′s Languages provides a detailed description of the articulatory processes of human speech production; it provides a descriptive backup to the UCLA speech database; perhaps most importantly it presents descriptions of the vast variety of sounds that occur in the world, and offers evidence, discussion and references which are relevant to many crucial theoretical issues at the interface of phonetics and phonology. It is a boon to all teachers and researchers in the field." W. Barry, Universitat des Saarlandes, Saarbrucken, Germany

"The Sounds of the World′s Languages draws on a wealth of published and unpublished sources to determine the phonetic contrasts that support lexical minimal pairs. It is the most comprehensive treatment to date. The book is extensively documented with a variety of experimental phonetic techniques. Phonologists will find the book of special interest. There are numerous marked generalizations to be contemplated and very useful discussion of the tension between increasing the inventory of sound types versus more elaborate scenarios of gestural timing. It is a book all students of phonology and phonetics will want to own." Michael Kenstowicz, MIT

"It is well written, superbly researched and it will make a mark in the halls of linguistics publishing. It is a book a vast range of linguists, phoneticians, speech scientists and others will need to have on their shelves." John A Goldsmith, University of Chicago

"An instant standard reference work that belongs on the desk of every linguist who has interest in what sounds human languages make use of. I am unable to present a single significant criticism of this book." Geoffrey S. Nathan

"Ladefoged & maddison have put together a well written, well organized volume that is certain to become a standard reference in the field" Katharine Davis, University of Washington

" instant standard reference work that belongs on the desk of every linguist who has an interest in what sounds human languages make use of......I am unable to present a single significant criticism of this book"Geoffrey Nathan, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

From the Back Cover

This book gives a description of all the known ways in which the sounds of the world′s languages differ. In doing so, it provides the empirical foundations for linguistic phonetics and phonology. Encapsulating the work of two leading figures in the field, it will be a standard work of reference for researchers in phonetics and linguistics for many years to come.

The scope of the book is truly global, with data drawn from nearly 400 languages, many of them investigated at first hand by the authors. A picture of the full range of possible contrasting phonetic categories is created by comparing families of similar sounds across many different languages.

Separate chapters deal with place of articulation, stops, nasals, fricatives, laterals, rhotics, clicks, vowels, and segments with multiple articulations. Each chapter is packed with illustrations documenting the articulatory and acoustic characteristics of the sounds discussed, and serving to illustrate the application of modern experimental techniques to descriptive phonetic studies.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The title of this book, The Sounds of the World's Languages, implies two very significant claims. Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By aku on 7 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perfect! I really love this book. It is affordable, yet it is of high quality. Recommended for everyone. Thank you Amazon!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The best birthday present I've ever received 9 Aug. 2006
By David R. Mortensen - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is excellent and I have found it very useful both as a theorist and a fieldworker. It clarifies many common misconceptions about the nature and diversity of speech sounds, drawing on many years of studies by the authors and others. And by giving equal time to the phonetics of less-well-known languages, this book provides a corrective to phonetic references that concentrate primarily on English and other well-studied languages.
14 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Phoneticians...will be amply rewarded by this valuable book. 1 Nov. 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Phoneticians, pronunciation editors of dictionaries, linguists, language teachers, and others who are-and ought to be-interested in and knowledgeable about the sounds of many languages and who have-and ought to have-sufficient background and training to understand the technical materials on which understanding of the text relies will be amply rewarded by this valuable book.
As reviewed by Laurence Urdang, in the Summer 1996 issue (Vol. XXIII, No. 1) of VERBATIM, The Language Quarterly
7 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Best book on phonology for acoustic phoneticians 13 April 1999
By JMPickett - Published on
Format: Paperback
As a non-linguist, this is the best book on world languages for phonological questions and extra notes when you're writing an acoustic textbook. See the first few chapters of my "Acoustics of Speech Communication", 1999. Allyn & Bacon - - J.M. Pickett
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know