~

Pergamon

System, Vol. 23, No. I, pp. 107-118, 1995 Elsevier Science Ltd. Printed in Great Britain

REVIEWS
Scholars who would like to publish in this section of System are requested to contact the Review Editor before submitting a paper. As a rule, all contributions should be made in English. French and German will, however, be considered. The Review Editor may be contacted at the following address: Sprachenzentrum der Universit~it B ayreuth D-95540 Bayreuth Federal Republic of Germany.

RETROSPECTIVE REVIEWARTICLE:SPEAKING---THE SECONDSKILL*
DENES, PETER B. and PINSON, ELLIOT N., The Speech Chain: the physics and biology of spoken language. New York: W. H. Freeman & Co., 1993, 246 pp . . . . LEVELT, WILLEM J. M., Speaking: from intention to articulation. Cambridge, Mass. and London: MIT Press, 1993, 556 pp . . . . DAY, RICHARD R. (ed.), Talking to learn: conversation in second language acquisition. Cambridge, Mass: Newbury House, 1986, 551 pp . . . . BYGATE, MARTIN, Speaking, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987, 4th impression, 1993, 125 pp . . . . "Oh. How many languages do you speak?" This dreaded, but entirely predictable, question to any self-confessed linguist at a social gathering produces immediate embarrassment. To own to less than half a dozen is a clear admission of professional incompetence---everybody knows of a Hungarian who speaks at least 15--whilst to inflate the number to include those one can read and perhaps compose and deliver a brief address or paper, or exchange greetings and get by in shops on a slot-and-filler basis is to risk instant exposure as a charlatan by the interlocutor, who turns out to be fully bilingual. Of course, to deny the presupposition, to reply: "Oh, I don't actually speak languages, I try to understand what happens when people talk to each other" produces a look of glazed incomprehension and a hurried departure to speak on a matter of urgency to a friend suddenly identified on the far side of the room, leaving one to bewail the abysmal state of language awareness among the general educated public. After all, we know that speaking is by far the most demanding of the four skills, not just a synonym for knowing and using a language, and that it isn't a unitary skill at all, but a highly diverse set of activities unified only by the output medium, a chain of complex, interrelated processes involving many distinguishable mental and physical skills. Why doesn't the rest of the world realise this fact? If 'the proper study of mankind is man', *The concept behind Retrospective Review Articles is explained in an editorial preceding the first two such articles in System 15(1), 97-98 (1987).
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say in the light of the stage reached in a continuously monitored interaction. the four works reviewed here both contribute to the public understanding of speech and are revealing of the magnitude of the problems to be overcome in developing an adequate understanding of the processes involved. not only because of the sheer volume of research surveyed. Chapters are devoted to the structure of messages and their generation. • . This is again a multistage process. Most striking is the replacement of the nine pages written in 1963 on "a look toward the future" by three full chapters on "digital processing of speech signals". "speech synthesis" and "automatic speech recognition"--all consequences of "the two million-fold decrease [between 1960 and 1990] in the cost of a single computer processing operation". Message planning occurs in two stages: macroplanning. not given a much higher priority in education and research? Perhaps. In their different ways..g.. it is part of the function of our window on the world not to be seen. focusing on the acoustic properties of speech in relation to the mechanisms of speech production. linked to. . The first operation of the formulator is then grammatical encoding. are still very far in the future This is because the parties in a human dialogue both recognize speech and understand the underlying language. 11) into a phonetic structure. This is a massive undertaking. Each consists of a "lemma" comprising the conceptual specification and morpho-syntactic properties of the word. "projecting the concepts and their relations in the preverbal . articulation (including its innervation and control) and speech perception (hearing and the identification of text). It provides the new entrant into speech research with a compact. All existing chapters have been modestly expanded in accordance with developments in the field. as Hjelmslev said. As a psycholinguist confronted with a heterogeneous mass of compartmentalised research. Computers. 238). involving the elaboration of sub-goals as well as the retrieval and ordering of the information needed to realise them and microplanning. Levelt tackles it by adopting a step-by-step processing model. It is a pleasure to welcome a new edition of Denes and Pinson's 1963 textbook. a conceptualiserconceives a communicative intention. First. in which raw materials are worked on by a relay of workers to deriver an eventual finished product. and draws upon various kinds of 'procedural' and 'declarative' knowledge to plan a preverbal message. on the other hand.108 REVIEWS why is the understanding of our language faculty. which has led to dramatic improvements in the transmission and processing of speech signals. but also because of the disparate nature of research approaches and resultant status of research findings. a conceptual structure (or perhaps fragments. Levelt's Speaking is largely complementary to Denes and Pinson. its phonological specification. A look into the future in 1994 must concern the chapter to which Denes and Pinson devote the least space: linguistic organisation: "Speech recognition systems approaching the performance of humans. which in addition to possessing a certain primafacie plausibility allows him to separate the contributions of different specialised disciplines into distinct chapters• In his "blueprint for the speaker". but distinct from. which assigns the 'chunks' of information a propositional shape and an informational perspective (e. p. topic/focus). but without relaxing the psycholinguist's main objective: to understand the mental information processing that underlies our capacity for speech". A central role is accorded to words as entries in a mental lexicon. A formulator then translates the preverbal message. so central to our humanity. Levelt visualises speech production as a kind of conveyor belt industrial process. clearly-written and factually reliable account of the entire speech event. he has attempted "to provide a theoretical interpretation of hitherto disparate approaches to the speaker in us. may recognize speech to some level but have very little understanding of language" (p.

thus diluting the close-knit argument one feels to be needed. Some chapters seem overloaded with information (e. there is one glaring omission. even indeterminate. aphasiology. Native speakers have normally little or no conscious awareness of allophonic differences and a 'narrow' transcription. parameter setting. Word-initial affixes can be stressed (e. Similarly. This is mainly due to coarticulation effects. 500 which shows/a/ in stop. undiscussed when so much else is presented at some length. 295).REVIEWS 109 message onto a phrase-structural organisation of lemmas and grammatical relations" (p.) (p. a contract vs. incidentally. provide a red thread by giving the gist of each chapter in a concluding summary. law. Into this framework. in a large-scale work of this kind one finds points with which to take issue. Although in any one language. the book is perhaps too catholic. however. reading aloud and paralinguistics or the history of speech research. Inevitably. It seems most doubtful whether the process of generating the coordinated movements of a set of continuously moving articulators from a phoneme string need necessarily pass through the specification of a string of allophones. It might have been more .g. which is confined to speech production. 302). etc. Some may be quickly noted. is poured into the book's 500 pages a truly encyclopaedic scholarship. Chomskyan universal grammar is entirely ignored. 179). the 20-page subject index and the 37-page bibliography. The status of allophones in an account of speech production is unclear. deal. astronaut). even in a single speaker the number of allophones which can be distinguished is very large. will represent only the distinctions relevant to its purpose. nor has/c~:/the length of a syllable/word/foot-final vowel. provided for in the IPA system by various diacritics which are freely combinable. / ~o/ in w_ant. the number of phonemes is small and definable. never definitive. 11 and 12. There is no doubt that advanced students in any of the disciplines involved in speech and language research will find that this book will give them comprehensive. the sections on phonetic planning and articulation arouse most queries. For a phonetician.g. This provides the content of chapters 5-7. intelligible and well-organised access to state-ofthe-art research across the entire field of speech production. The number of phones in the languages of the world is not "fairly limited" (p. the word-final/t/ in "Is it empty?" is not aspirated (p. This is a dramatic demonstration of the complete divorce which now exists between what many would still see as the mainstream of theoretical linguistics and those concerned with the empirical investigation of human language. respectively. with the processes of articulation and of self-monitoring and self-repair. The 'linking'/r/in general British English is not syllable-initial. 299). an influx. c_op(also. taxonomic) marginal to the central argument or not allowing of any definite conclusion. however. In "Is the car empty?" it lacks the greater length and labialisation found when/r/is initial in a stressed syllable. having been at pains in the last few years to kick away the remaining links between grammatical theory and empirical reality. as is shown by the 523 entries in the author index. Levelt does. surprising to find the issues raised by recent work on government and binding. a mismatch. Chapters 8-10 deal with the phonetic plans for individual words and connected speech (including intonation patterns) and the processes by which they are generated from surface structure representations and lexical phonological specifications. p. Chomsky himself enters only in the single passing reference accorded to the Sound Pattern of English. Two final chapters. Chomsky would presumably remain untroubled. On the other hand. It is. dealing as the author says neither with speech perception and comprehension nor with such aspects of spoken language as neurolinguistics. If anything. It is. 302 c_ar): / 3 / in w_alk. to contract etc. not clear what variety of English or system of transcription underlies the table on p.

) and no-one finds difficulty with D. appropriately hedged. Grief3mieter. apparently in reaction against an earlier view that learners first acquire a knowledge of the sentences of a language as formal entities and only then put it to use in conversational interaction. and some of the types of evidence. mach' mir Tee. . following the tradition of Sweet. bringing together much of the material upon which one might be constructed. Hatch's "experience" approach proposes that language develops through "the continuous interaction of experience with interlinked cognitive. post facto interpretation) or simply "capturing generalisations". It is similarly difficult to see why the place of the syllable in phonetic planning should be made to rely on the resurrection of Jespersen's acoustically defined "prominence" theory (p. reviewed below. illustrated by convenient examples. we have still to go. It also shows how far. Fry's exercise of "prernerncerng er sernternce werth ernler wern verwerl" or putting on strange accents and weird intonations--all in real time---or demonstrating "impossible" consonant combinations. which might in a sharpened form be employed. Flackner and Hunt quote Gough's (1984) example from mother-child interaction (p. 310).e. hidic and metalinguistic usage. Is the 'blueprint for a speaker' a metaphor or a hypothesis? More generally.110 REVIEWS useful to reproduce the standard IPA chart itself with some of the conventions for its use. this comes close to proposing a deterministic model. GrieBmieter.g. 89). The contrast drawn between a representation of intonation as a pitch-meter output and a two state highlow switching device is not concrete vs abstract as stated (p. (e. 21-22) that "there is very little executive control over formulating or articulating processes".g. In fact. especially those deriving surface phenomena from the operation of various process on posited underlying or 'deep' forms. A better example of a more "abstract" (i. Hatch. We return to our first query. Since this notation marks all and only the "information points" (Hulz6n 1956) and identifies the decisions made at those points for the immediately following sequence with minimal look-ahead required. miech mir Tie . Grol3mutter. Against this view (which sounds like a caricature of classicistic teaching methods). Perhaps some young scholars may be inspired by it to attempt the leap.e.g. it is hard to see why Levelt has preferred the older global interlinear graphic notation. It would not. for instance. Palmer and Kingdon (see also Trim in Jones and Laver 1973). Richard Day brings together 13 papers by American researchers. . e. In Talking to Learn. B. Despite the adverbial hedges. all but one previously unpublished. Levelt states (pp. . Isacenko and Schiidlich's 1966 analysis of German intonation). be taken as hypotheses concerning actual structures and processes in the production and reception of speech. more analytic) notation for English intonation would be the "tonetic" markings used by O'Connor and Arnold. The latter is simply not adequate to represent meaningfully distinct intonation patterns in English. The research takes its inspiration largely from the work of Hatch and Long. say. tip-of-the-tongue phenomena and slips of the tongue (but not the invaluable evidence from aphasiology). 291). capable of being confirmed or--particularly-refuted by observation and experiment? Can we leave behind the plethora of largely metaphorical "theoretical" models and diagrams. conceptually and methodologically. which are claimed to be largely automatic" and "largely impenetrable to executive control even when one wishes otherwise". and move forward to a truly integrated operational model? Levelt's book performs a most valuable service. can descriptive models of well-formed sentences and discourse. dealing with the role of conversation in second language acquisition. In Talking to Learn. the phonological and morphological rules defining well-formedness can be readily overridden and frequently are in. standing in a purely hermeneutic relation to the concrete evidence (i. Children's skipping games permute vowels throughout a sentence (e. For another language it might well be adequate. Grof3mutter. distinguish the low rise in "Don't worry!" from the high rise in "Don't worry?".

is liberally interspersed with "tasks" (largely in the form of dialogues often taken from literary drama). activities for oral practice. Section three: "exploring oral interaction in the classroom". production skills. forming as it does part of Candlin and Widdowson's scheme for teacher education "designed so as to guide teachers towards the critical appraisal of ideas and the informed application of these ideas in their own classrooms". Accordingly. "the methodology of oral interaction". but many are open-ended and. these studies will be of considerable value and interest to specialists in the field of language acquisition research. clearly expressed and unproblematic. presumably. that in debate students take longer and fewer turns than in informal small-group interaction. Nine of the 13 papers recommend more research. to become increasingly aware and responsive-and consequently to foster the same qualities in learners. On this basis chapters are devoted to differences between speech and writing. The book is divided into three sections. as the course proceeds. in which the interaction of knowledge and skill is followed through the successive stages of utterance planning. with such (unsurprising) indications as that teachers (who talk too much but provide too little comprehensible target language input) and male students dominate classrooms (though female students may benefit more. The book is thus very well-planned for use in the teacher education component of teacher training. The same technique is continued through section two. Some are highly conducive. directive prescriptivism that may be felt in the earlier chapters and focuses the teacher's attention on the needs. interaction activities. which deals successively with methodological objectives. aims to engage teachers in modest "action research" projects with their students.REVIEWS I 1I social and linguistic systems" and provides a framework (the status of model is not claimed) for the study of such interaction. characteristics and reactions of learners both as individuals and as members of a learning group. It removes the sense of highly simplified. situational context and sympathetic. to struc~tre and learn from experience. this corpus of observations demonstrates above all the great variety of learners and learning situations. which is kept brief. case-study nature involving small numbers or even individual students. close to that of Levelt. Martin Bygate's Speaking is addressed to a very different audience. there is relatively little overlap between Bygate's bibliography and that of the works reviewed above. The first: "understanding speech" communicates a somewhat simplified version of a model. which invite the reader to comment on or interpret the dialogue to exemplify the particular principle just enunciated. organised almost entirely as a series of tasks. This section is particularly to be welcomed. but without showing how that research could lead to any more definitive results. Despite the inconclusiveness of the results. interaction skills and learner strategies of communication. It further encourages the teacher to observe and experiment. students' production in interaction activities and interaction skills in oral language methodology. As a result. Less predictable is the conclusion drawn by Schmidt and Frota (influenced by Platt and MacWhinney' s (1983) study of child acquisition) from an in-depth study of a single adult learner of Portuguese that the fossilisation of errors (as well. steering their input by eliciting and listening to what the dominant partners say). motivations. 135) limiting themselves to "cautious suggestions". that the communicative activity of early learners is fragmentary and reliant on paralinguistics. Its presuppositions in respect of basic . The authors are understandably anxious "not to overinterpret or overgeneralise results" (p. invite reflection--or debate--in greater depth. more experienced interlocutors. selection and production. The expository text. the subject's memory of auditory feed-back from his own production. It is conceded that the framework is "diffuse" and indeed the research reported here on teacher/learner and learner/native speaker interaction in and outside the classroom is largely of an observational. as the reinforcement of correct usage) is largely due to "autoinput".

avec la collaboration de BLANVILLAIN. H. I. J. IV. M.1995 ElsevierScienceLtd. (1959) Information points in intonation. . London: Longman. In Studia Grammatica VII: Untersuchungen fiber Akzent und Intonation im Deutschen (1958) Berlin: Akademie-Verlag. ISACENKO. to go beyond the often too widespread "invented here or not invented here syndrome". reprinted (orthographically) in Jones. 145 FF. The works reviewed have each made an appropriate contribution to the development of our field. C O L E T T E . A. F. 3rd edn. Phonetica. 1992. (1990)A Primer of Spoken English. No. It will allow many readers to fully apprehend the many facettes of courseware design and implementation. D. and SCHADLICH. KINGDON.23. V. pedagogy. The two authors have a long experience in the field and their special expertise of software design. with all its complexity and uncertainty to the distillation of the results of linguistic and educational research into a compact programme for teacher education. and MacWHITNEY. System. Paris: Ophrys. J. (Collection Autoformation et Enseignement Multimrdia). D U B U I S S O N . Ward and Laver. B. (1966). 112-114. Journal of Child Language 10(2). 404-414. very few have attempted to bring the various historical and methodological strands together within a coherent theoretical framework. Demaizirre and C. G. J. E. This is what F. (1973) Major and minor tone-group in English Le Mattre Phon~tique 1959.Printedin GreatBritain D E M A I Z I E R E . 107-120. Phonetics in Linguistics. H. ODILE. (1961) Intonation c~f'Colloquial English. H.. SWEET. R. (1983) Error assimilation as a mechanism in language learning. these four books span the complete range of professional concern in the field of spoken language: from the well-established understanding of the most accessible stages of the speech event and the exploitation of that knowledge in communications engineering to the frontier where research seeks to construct speculative theoretical models of processes not directly accessible to observation and looks to their indirect consequences in observable behaviour for support or (better) disconfirmation.112 REVIEWS knowledge of and experience in language teaching make demands on the user which would require careful management with new recruits to the profession. pp. From Computer Assisted Learning. TRIM. Oxford: Clarendon Press. as consultants both in companies and universities is proving here extremely relevant. O'CONNOR. London: Longman. B. REFERENCES HULZEN. Taken together. C. but it should certainly figure in any inservice course at Diploma level. L. (I 958) The Groundwork of English Intonation. PLATF. 389 pp. from empirical research into language use by learners in and outside the classroom. Dubuisson have successfully done by presenting an overview of the area and by showing CAL as an interdisciplinary study requiring knowledge of such diverse areas as computing. De I'EAO aux NFT. CAL to the use of New Technologies in training: of the books so far published in France on computers and learning.Vol. London: Longman. (1972) English Intonation with Systematic Exercises. 26. Utiliser l' ordinateur pour la formation. S. Untersuchungen tiber deutsche Satzintonation. PALMER. J. Cambridge: Heifer. software design and the like. L. F R A N ~ O I S E . and ARNOLD.

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