Introduction

In this summary we shall not review the book chapter by chapter ,but rather the focus will be on the main interests around which the book centres .The book is mainly interested in (i)the idea that the study of meaning and context should be central in linguistics ;(ii)work on phonology, particularly the development of a model called „Prosodic Analysis‟;(iii)the history of linguistics ,especially of linguists from Britain and America. To clearly put the main ideas and concepts relevant to the topics above ,we have resorted to a number of reliable works. The book has 16 papers written at different times as of 1934 through 1951.The papers on meaning are four in number ;four on history of linguistics; eight on phonology and its application to Indian and southern Asian languages.

1.Firth’s Theory of Contextual Meaning The foundation for Firthian Linguistics was laid by B. Malinowski whose seminal article „The Problem of Meaning‟ in primitive languages (1923) attempted to identify the interaction between culture and meaning. As an anthropologist and ethnographer his concern was with discourse as it functions in a particular situation. His research on the language and culture of the Trobriand Islanders led him to the conclusion that one cannot understand the meaning of messages unless one takes into account the situation in which they are uttered. He therefore emphasized the importance of context of situation ,embedded within the total culture ,and in his own descriptions he particularly focused on features that were direct reflections or indications of that context of situation. Firth‟s ideas on meaning and context are fundamental to his conception of language as he considered the analysis of the meaning of utterances to be the main goal of linguistics ;he saw meaning as the cornerstone of linguistic theory :the study of language is the study of linguistic meaning. Moreover ,linguistic meaning could only be understood by appreciating the intimate relationship between language and society .As Firth points out ,words are not isolates which somehow have meaning in and by themselves ,as logicians and some linguists would have us believe ; they have meaning because they function in the particular society in which the speakers happen to live .Thus ,language is seen not in terms of an individual mental activity or as an abstract construct divorced from reality ,but as an integral part of the physical and social world in which we live .Meanings are created in society: As we know so little about mind and as our study is essentially social, I shall cease to respect the duality of mind and body ,though and word, and be satisfied with the whole man ,thinking and acting as a whole in

as Chomsky did after him .1957:19).association with his fellows. or „competence‟ and „performance‟.or ideas .Firth saw language as a set of events which speakers uttered. Regarding words as acts .in keeping with the behaviourist and positivist ideas of the contemporary intellectual environment . (Firth. not a phenomenon which reflects mental activity . Firth adopts anti-mentalist views rejecting any kind of distinction between „langue‟ and „parole‟ .Rather .and not to be studied as a mental system .as modes of behavior in relation to other elements in the context of situation. Firth is even reluctant to regard language as expressive or communicative lest he imply it is an instrument of inner mental states .but we have no methodology or technique for studying it and no technical language for mentalistic treatment as Bloomfield did.and language through life leads him to refuse the mental side .but chiefly as situational relations in a context of situation and in that kind of language which disturbs the air and other people‟s ears . Firth limits his inquiry to what is objective and .language was not an autonomous entity. Hence.Firth wants to regard language as a mode of action .He applauds Malinowski‟s warning : all mental states postulated as occurrences within the private consciousness of man are outside the realm of science .thoughts . habits.Language is a way of doing things and getting things done. as Saussure made before him. of behaving and making others behave in relation to surroundings and situations.which are mysterious because not observable .personality . Firth says that we do not deny the concept of mind . I do not therefore follow Ogden and Richards in regarding meaning as relations in a hidden mental process .events. because . general linguistics must not study language as an instrument of thought or an organ of mind.for Firth .and there is nothing more dangerous than to imagine that language is a process running parallel and exactly corresponding to mental states. creating a fresh dualism where he wants general linguistics to adopt a „psychosomatic approach‟ to mind and body taken together and acting in specific living conditions . Firth‟s strong concern for the bodily system .

which mixes language with the objects physically present during a conversation to ascertain the meaning involved is known as Firth‟s „contextual theory of meaning‟ or his theory of „context of situation‟. The technique of syntax is concerned with the word process in the sentence . Since the statement of the meaning cannot be achieved at one fell swoop by one analysis at one level . According to Firth. This rejects the common view that speech acts are only interesting for linguists to gain access to the true object of study-their underlying grammatical systems.These levels (for example . situational) are equally theoretical constructs and they consist of a consistent framework of categories .or disperse meaning into modes.Firth proposes to split up meaning or function into a series of component functions .descriptive linguistics then proceeds by a method rather like the dispersion of light into a spectrum. This integrationist idea.which are named in a restricted language in order to deal with the distinguishable aspects of meaning.observable in the group life. The context of situation is a convenient abstraction at the social level of analysis and forms the basis of the hierarchy of techniques for the statement of meanings.Firth argued that their meaning derived just as much from the particular situation in which they occurred as from the string of sounds uttered.The technique of phonology states the phonematic and prosodic processes within the word and sentence.consisting of various levels of analysis . The sentence must also have its relations with the processes of the context of situation. lexical . . The phonetician links all this with the processes and features of utterance. Each function will be defined as the use of some language form or element in relation to some context . Thus. The statement of meaning cannot be achieved by one analysis .at one level . descriptive linguistics is a sort of hierarchy of techniques by means of which the meaning of linguistic events may be dispersed in a spectrum of specialized statements.phonetic . phonological . As utterances occur in real-life contexts . context of situation is a schematic construct that is applied especially to repetitive events in the social process .grammatical.in one fell swoop. a phrase which he borrowed from Malinowski. Having made the first abstraction and having treated the social process of speaking by applying the set of categories grouped in the context of situation .

that is to say. In discussing his approach to meaning .and semantics each handles its own components of the complex in its appropriate context. bid) (b) Before any vowel (c) Before a limited number of consonants (bleed . is to be regarded as a complex of contextual relations .and so on . and of the whole context of situation . an /s/ could precede these sounds .it is found that (b) in word initial position can be replaced by /p/ or /m/ in most of them and that : (a) Given /p/ or /m/ .linguistic meaning is the fusion of a number of different „modes of meaning‟.there are contrasts between them : both/b/ and /p/ are bilabial .At this level .just as light is dispersed through a spectrum. The first level of meaning is that of phonetics .Consider the following example : The English sound /b/ is found to occur in the following places : (a)initially (bed. (c) /d/ is alveolar and contrasts differently with /b/ than with other sounds . The principal components of the whole meaning are the phonetic function and the functions of lexical .The method by which the meaning is to be explicated requires that we split up the organic whole into several levels .Meaning . . (b) While /p/ and /m/ are articulated at the same place as /b/ .and syntactic items.bread) (d)Never after a consonant. This fusion is impossible to analyze until it is dispersed or deconstructed into various modes of meaning.and phonetics .lexicography .Firth often used the analogy of the dispersion of light waves into a spectrum : just as white light is the fusion of a number of colours of differing wavelengths . morphological .sounds have function by virtue of (1) the places in which they occur (2)the contrast they show with other sounds that could occur in the same place .but /b/ and /p/ are usually nonnasal and /m/ is non plosive and so on. But in terms of contrast .grammar .

how they contrast and so on . we deal with colligations . One of the meanings of „night‟ is its collocability with „dark‟ and of „dark‟ of course. „April fool‟ .Syntactic meaning . or „the company a word keeps‟. The term „collocation‟ was first introduced by Firth . since these also condition the meanings of the members of the paradigm .The phonetic or minor function of a sound is shown by studying it in relation to the phonetic contexts in which it occurs and in relation to other sounds which may replace it in those contexts . the phonetic value or use of any sound is determined by its place in the whole system . The third level that Firth cited is the grammatical.of a sound . On the syntactic level of meaning . The second level is the lexical .in relation to the context of the whole phonological system. or sound group is then its use in contra distinction from other „ sounds‟ .Firth says: The phonetic function of a form .for example . the participle of a verb once it has been contextualized .how they are mutually substitutable . „May week‟ . and the like.or. we can examine the paradigms into which words enter . which can be divided into morphology and syntax.who considered that meaning by collocation is lexical meaning at the syntagmatic level. „April showers‟. „August bank holiday‟ . On the morphological level .At this level words can be considered „lexical substitution counters‟. Examples of collocation are the meaning features attached to the names of the English months in „March hare‟ . A phonetic substitution –counter has been termed a phoneme. in other words . or syntagmatic relations between grammatical categories . The meanings of the words can be stated in terms of collocation . collocation with „night‟. the level on which the meanings of words can be considered . Meaning by collocation is an abstraction at the syntagmatic level and is not directly concerned with the conceptual or idea approach to the meaning of words.In this respect .sound attribute .Such comparisons are carried on until the segmental units of the language have been established by listing how the sounds function . it has morphological meaning.

in which speaker A asks speaker B . These are not semantic but syntactical categories. The central concept of the whole semantics considered in this way is the context of situation . sometimes in a descending order .All in all . a level that corresponds more closely to what others have called a level of meaning .can be assessed for instance . context within context. Firth repeatedly emphasized that to make statements of meaning in terms of linguistics . Although Firth borrowed the concept of context of situation from Malinowski as one level in his hierarchical system of meaning interpretation there is one very important difference between the ways in which Malinowski and Firth saw context. Whereas Malinowski was interested in the actual existing features of context . we may accept the language event as a whole and then deal with it at various levels .And it is for this situational and cultural study that Firth reserves the term „semantics‟.It avoids many of the difficulties which arise if meaning is regarded chiefly as a mental relation or historical process.Situations themselves take their meaning from the context of culture .an organ of the bigger context and all contexts finding a place in what may be called the context of culture . each one being a function .Firth saw the context of situation as an abstract frame of reference which the linguist invents.g.and at other times in the opposite order as illustrated above.In that context are the human participant or participants what they say .Firth was very much adherent of what was at the time . one a statement and the other a question. It can be described as a serial contextualization of our facts .If we contextualize the word in a particular social situation . Board stiff?. beginning with context of situation and proceeding through syntax and vocabulary to phonology . A fourth level is the situational . and what is going on . the utterance receives what Firth calls a semantic function.These are two different types of sentence . or the phrase „ Not on the board !‟ and also „Not on the board?‟ . by intonation (e. The technique which Firth has sketched is an empirical rather than a theoretical analysis of meaning. The linguist decides which features are going to be important for the analysis of language in context . Board?) .

B.such as a drill sergeant‟s welcome utterance on the square . Malinowski‟s context of situation is a bit of the social process which can be considered a part and in which a speech event is central and makes all the difference . contexts of situation and types of language function can then be grouped and classified .and it is a group of related categories at a different level from grammatical categories but rather of the same abstract nature.called the hocus pocus view of linguistic analysis: linguistic categories are constructs imposed on language in the hope of getting a better understanding of what is going on .‟Stand at –ease !‟. The effect of the verbal action. . But it is parallel with the grammatical rules . The relevant features of participants : persons. and still is .and is based on the repetitive routine of initiated persons in the society under description.Such constructs do not exist independent of their creator. (i)The verbal action of the participants. According to Firth . C. that context of situation is best used as a suitable schematic construct to apply to language events .The context of situation for Malinowski is an ordered series of events considered as in rebus. Firth‟s view was . (ii)The non-verbal action of the participants. It follows that meaning in language is not a single sort of relation . A context of situation for linguistic work brings into relation the following categories: A. personalities.both cultural and physical . The relevant objects. It is very rough.A very rough parallel to this sort of context can be found in language manuals providing the learner with a picture of a railway station and the operative words for travelling by train.and forming part of the more extensive system of interpersonal relations involved in the existence of human societies. This implies that every notion or term in linguistics –including his own –are only analytical tools which can and should be changed whenever this is felt to be necessary. but involves a set of multiple and various relations holding between the utterance and its parts and the relevant features and components of the environment .

Firth argues: Sweet himself bequeathed to the phoneticians coming after him the problems of synthesis which still continue to vex us. others in phonological terms based on theories of opposition. Firthian Prosodic Analysis (FPA) J. some in general phonetic terms. R.1957:121) Firth made a number of criticisms about phonemic phonology : (1) The emphasis on the distinction between system and structure is misleading . Such studies I should describe as paradigmatic and monosystemic in principle.for example when Arabic [ sǝ:rʌ ] „he marched‟ and [sa:rʌ ] are phonemicised as . (Firth.and distinctive differentiations or substitutions. Most phoneticians and even the „new‟ phonologists have continued to elaborate the analysis of words. These are not independent but interdependent :different formulations of a system require different structural rules. (2) Trubetzkoy‟s systems of archiphonemes and of phonemes destroy confidence in the notion of one phonemic system and hence in that of the phoneme itself.2. (4) A sequence of segmental phonemes can misrepresent phonetic data . alternances . (3) To treat all phonological phenomena in terms of phonemes assigns inappropriate places in a transcribed linear sequence to essentially dynamic features. Firth distanced himself away from the English tradition of Sweet and Jones and tried to take English phonology away from its preoccupation with phonetic description and segmental transcription .

(6) Not to admit a knowledge of grammar not only results in the invention of juncture phonemes .or sentence .the ./sIᵑk /sink) . Similarly we may abstract those features which mark word or syllable initials and word or syllable finals or word junctions from the word . then . and regard them syntagmatically as prosodies . Firth‟s prosodic approach to the study of phonological systems of language is summarized as follows by Firth himself in his paper “Sounds and Prosodies”(1948)pp./өʌmp/ thump. but makes it impossible to state in the phonology of English that (i) all word-final sequences of voiced plosive plus alveolar fricative are either singular verbs or plural nouns (/rʌbz/ rubs./ribz/ ribs).where he purely rejected phonemic analysis as practiced by leading phonologists at the time (such as Trubetzkoy and Bloomfield). there .we generalize syllabic structure in a new order of abstraction eliminating the specific paradigmatic consonant and vowel systems as such . distinct from the phonematic constituents which are referred to as units of the consonant and vowel systems.(5) It is misleading to regard the vocabulary of English and some other languages as a set of items all obeying the same phonological rules. though. (ii)word-final sequences of nasal plus fricative or plosive are homorganic (/tenө/ tenth . and enabling the syntagmatic word structure of syllables with all their attributes to be stated systematically .(iii)word-initial /ð/ occurs in only a tiny set of grammatically important words such as this . . piece .He says: By using the common symbols c and v instead of the specific symbols for phonematic consonant and vowel units .121-138.

” The schwa plays a significant prosodic function in English . ǝn .It must be emphasized that the sequence „fi‟ which is a mark of word junction in spoken English is considered in Firthian terms a prosodic feature .nearly open vowel quality .where the symbols f and i stand for the word final and word initial . r . “However obscure or neutral or unstressed . . Such a sequence in spoken English is abstracted as a prosody and is generalized beyond the phonematic level as fi .though being weak . i.the liquids l . It differs from the phonematic units of other English vowels in that the schwa never carries strong stress . n and the semi-vowels w. n/.over and above the abstract phonematic units. The schwa /ǝ/ in English is often associated with the prosodies of English words and junctions. phonological structures consist of phonematic units and prosodies . the phrase “Black and white” where the conjunction „and‟ is normally rendered as a weak form variously pronounced as /ǝnd . kǝn.respectively . which . ǝ . In the prosodic analysis of a language .Arab speakers of English as a foreign language do not differentiate between the weak and the strong form. They misuse the prosodic function of the schwa.Here the orthographic space between the two words is replaced by the junction sequence ɜᶴ. whose exponent is the schwa of the second syllable in bitter .the glottal stop in Arabic and aitch or the pulmonic onset .As Firth says: “Unlike the phonematic units . the schwa in English might be regarded as a pro-syllable .he says . it is essential in a bitter for me to distinguish it from a bit for me”.Its occurrence marks a weak syllable including weak forms such as wǝz .Firth gives as an example of word junction the sentence (question) „Is she?‟.The former phrase contains an extra syllable . it does not bear any strong stress . y. the schwa /ǝ/ in English .the so-called „intrusive‟ r ./ænd/and furthermore .This is what is meant by the pro-syllable prosodic function of the schwa in English.As Firth puts it . They render the conjunction „and‟ with a full front .Consider .is phonetically transcribed as /iɜᶴ /. Many types of sound can be treated as prosodies . associate strong stress with it.For instance .for instance. In one of its prosodic functions .the weak vowel.e.

these constitute a system.a more abstract representation of the word „food‟ can now be rendered as Or if vowel length (+L) is also abstracted as a prosody .While phonematic units are generally represented in general phonetic terms .syllable prosodies . Phonematic units are divided into consonants and vowels . the word „feed‟ /fi:d/ can be represented as: . they should not be equated with such symbols.Phonematic units are segmental abstractions at the phonnological level and have exponents in the phonic substance . both resembles and differs from a phoneme in the usual definition . word prosodies .Using the system of abstract phonematic units (c and v) and the prosody of Rounding (+R). but always with reference to a given structure . Systems are thus set up to state the structural possibilities of a language at the phonological level . stated for a lexical item: phoneme – prosody = phonematic unit Prosodies are abstracted from the utterance or sentence (sentence prosodies) and from parts thereof .Some examples may help to explain: A prosody of lip rounding can be abstracted from the English word „food‟/fu:d/ to the effect that the lips take a rounded posture from the onset of articulating this word to the end of it . also have their exponents in the phonic substance. The phoneme is a unit defined through its ability to distinguish one lexical item from another .A phonematic unit . as the name suggests .sentence part prosodies. Where more than one phonematic unit or prosody is referable to a single structural position . which are abstractions at the morphological level or syntactic level .and syllable part prosodies.and part of its definition is the specification of features of a phonetic event .The difference between a phoneme and a phonematic unit is a prosody . just as grammatical units .the word can be represented In contrast .and the relevant phonetic data may be assigned to such different categories of prosody as sentence prosodies .

Similarly in the third person singular of lexical verbs the feature of voice exhibits like patterns .Prosodic features are also evident in English morphophonemics . in the latter it is a past tense signal .the pair: fig figs /figz/ exhibits a prosodic feature of [+voice] extending over the last two consonants.On the other hand .As Firth .Consider . the prosody of [+voice] and [-voice] in nouns (plurality and the possessive case)and verbs (3rd person singular and past tense )as illustrated below: book books /buks/ where in the plural form a prosodic feature of [-voice] extends over the last two consonantal units . consider: He looks /luks/ [.This contrast is not operational word-initially or medially .voice] He digs /digz/ [+voice] The English regular past tense is also subject to such voice contrasts: to look to kiss to hug to please looked kissed /lukt/ /kist/ [-voice] [-voice] [+ voice] hugged /hʌgd/ pleased /pli:zd/ [+ voice] The /d/ segment has different phonological and morphological functions in word final position: board /bo:d/ bored /bo:d/ In the former it is just an original phonematic unit .

while a system is made up of the mutually exclusive paradigmatic options that come into play at a particular place in a structure –a system is a set of choices available at a given place in the phonological structure . length . word . phonematic and prosodic . the term „system‟ is recognized as reflections of paradigmatic oppositions (a set of phonemes in opposition to each other is a system ).…etc. among other things .e. Any feature . vowel or consonant). pitch . of paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations . As Sommerstein says. nasalization .This relationship has been illustrated by the following diagram: S y s St ru cture e m According to Firth . For Firth . to integrate the syntagmatic and paradigmatic statements in a single unified description .and „structure‟ as reflections of syntagmatic relations (syllables are one kind of structure.says almost any type of „sound‟ may have prosodic function. that is to say . is itself made up of systems and structures . vowel harmony . syllable-part . words are another).g syllable .”Thus . “The aim of prosodic phonology is . and the same „sound‟ may have to be noticed both as a consonant or vowel unit and as a prosody. a system and a structure are complementary :a structure is formed by elements in syntagmatic relation at a particular level of analysis .Such features include stress .wordpart…etc) rather than to just one segment (i.For Firth . phoneme analysis in all its forms gives undue weight to the contrastive or paradigmatic aspect of phonology and neglects the syntagmatic aspect. Each sequence . an important role is given to phonological features characteristic of a unit of structure (e.

of words .g. function words and lexical words . in addition to the syntactic hierarchical structure which are widely recognized as possessing. However . and must be connected by statements of exponency explaining how a particular piece of phonological structure maps onto the phonetics. Noun Phrases. both syllable onsets and syllable rhymes. a given language is polysystemic in that it involves a “plurality of systems”.For Firth . Firth was able to combine an abstract phonology with detailed phonetic description.in contrast to Saussure .Firth did not regard these notions as being applicable to the language as a whole. of syllables .extending over more than one segment is abstracted from the phonological system of a language and considered a prosody.One result of this is that utterances are represented as having a phonological hierarchical structure . With such assumptions . phonology and phonetics describe different things and are different but related levels of abstraction with their own formal languages . for example. different phonological relations hold. Another aspect of prosodic analysis to observe is its separation of linguistic levels . Firth‟s polysystematicity means that phonologists are free to recognize a phonological system in any piece of linguistic structure . phonematic units and prosodies are not assumed to have obvious phonetic content . One of the principal features of prosodic analysis is that it is polysystemic. Firthian prosodic analysis recognizes a number of systems of prosodies operating at various points in structure(e.) which determine the pronunciation of a given form in interaction with phonematic units that represent whatever information is left when all the co-occurrence restrictions between adjacent segments have been abstracted as prosodies . Adverb Phrases.especially phonetics and phonology . rather than needing to provide a coherent account of the whole phonological system of a language. . Firth‟s notions of system and structure are based on the structuralist notions of paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations. etc.Furthermore . For Firth. This means that one of its fundamental trends is that at different places in structure . at the levels of consonant clusters . There is no necessary expectation that the same phonological entities and systems should be relevant in .

to grammar .It contrasts with phonemic analysis not only in the recognition of two basic phonological entities . Moreover . In the English case of plosive consonants after /s/ in initial position in the syllable .prosody and phonematic unit. as well as phonological elements such as syllables . 3.The History of Linguistics Firth was well aware of developments in linguistics in Europe and America.g. Firth dealt with the contributions Americans made to the subjects of orthography and orthoepy of the common language . Noah Webster .He demanded that Americans reform the abuses and faults which produce innumerable inconveniences in the acquisition and use of language. and to lexicography in Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language in 1828.Prosodic analysis has been characterized as polysystemic in contrast to monosystemic phonemic analysis . are open to treatment as structures from which prosodies may be abstracted.grammatical elements such as words . Prosodic analysis admits the possibility of different grammatical elements being subjected to different phonological analyses . and introduce order and regularity into the orthography of the American Tongue. . prosodic analysis does not need to identify the three consonantal phonematic units in this position with either the distinctively voiced three or the distinctively voiceless three that are found in syllable initial position. prosodic phonology envisages the setting up of separate systems of contrastive phonematic units and prosodies at different places in phonological structures without necessarily identifying the units in one system with those in another. the educator and lexicographer . He cared for the history of linguistics as part of the study of language. Phonemic systems are established without reliance on grammatical distinctions (e. At first . between nouns and verbs or roots and affixes ). wrote an essay on The Reforming of Spelling . Phonemic analysis is general throughout a language . and a sound segment assigned to a phoneme in one environment is held to belong to the same phoneme everywhere else. based on the structural places of differentiation. rather than one .They are moreover . but in other respects.

the most of which are corruptions of the original words. Further emphasis of the Atlantic conception arises from a study of the leading personalities . unto . will . the English grammar.he devised six new letters including one for the vowel in „um . and the letter ᵑ „(ng)ing . Finally . He compiled Greek Lexicon regarded by some as the best Greek-English Dictionary. in 1784. in repeating . the first to publish a collection of Americanisms.He is described as the first modern grammarian to treat „auxiliary verbs‟ like have . for the use of some teachers who were not satisfied with nay of the existing grammars . Murray paid a careful attention to the prosodic features of pronunciation and made an original explanation of the concepts of case and mood in English . Du Ponceau also promoted the study of the American Indian languages . etc. Benjamin Franklin proposed an entirely new alphabet and mode of spelling . as in umbrage . do as sentence operators.His most interesting work is A Dissertation on the Nature and Character of the Chinese System of Writing published for the American Philosophical Society in 1838. be . His section on Accent or the stress of the voice is extremely competent for that time. John Pickering (1777-1846). that is . In this edition . un . among „.In 1808 an improved edition in two volumes was published as more suitable for libraries. the founder of the Smithsonian Institution which stimulated and fostered linguistic research in American Indian and exotic languages .. he was the leading authority of his day on the North American Indians .He pointed out that the basic advantage of this reform is that it makes a difference between the English orthograpgy and the American .In 1786 Franklin turned to Webster and offered to give him the types for experiment . Lindley Murray made an early transatlantic contribution to the teaching of the English language .But Webster wished to effect reform without a single new character by means of a few trifling alterations of the present characters and retrenching a few extra letters . . Peter Stephen Du Ponceau (17601844) and James Smithson . Pickering devoted himself to linguistics and learning languages.Murray‟s grammar was built on a Latin model. and as in er‟.

The Bells are the best symbol of Atlantic phonetics since they linked up Scotland .Modern descriptive linguistics in America also owes a great deal to the Smithsonian Institution which lined linguistics with ethnology and promoted research by issuing questionnaires and by publications. A great deal of early work suffered because of phonetic incompetence . he objected to the division of the spoken alphabet into the two distinct classes of vowels and consonants . Whitney realized the effect of the Roman alphabet on American theories.he came very near to the theory of cardinal vowels . First the Propaganda Fide in Europe . .Ireland . Ellis and Melville Bell in Samuel Haldeman who had a sound knowledge of phonetic technique and right ideas on the recording of phonetic observations. early work on Berber by Newman (1846). on Swahili.he severely criticizes Lepsius‟s treatment of vowels . The study of phonetics in all its branches has continued to be a feature of Atlantic linguistics . The close association of missions with the development of linguistics is a constant feature of the history of the subject. and the United States by their own work.The Americans report a Fijian Vocabulary (1811).He serialized sibilants followed later by Sweet. and the world by telephone. The Visible Speech of the Bell telephone Laboratories is a reminder of the Visible Speech of 1867 by Melville Bell. On Yoruba by Bowen (1858) and on the dialects of the Gabun. Kenneth Pike and his colleagues for the mission fields and linguistics. The American Indian work was a good background for filed linguistics .There is no doubt that Sir William Jones and Sanskrit were the sources of stimulus for new developments in general linguistics and phonetics both in Europe and America. There was an American link with A. and in America the work of Dr. Canada . England .especially in England .America and Scandinavia.In 1861 he presented a highly competent criticism of Lepsius‟s Standard Alphabet in which there is some phonetic theory. One of the greatest vehicles of this enlightment is William Dwight Whitney. J. as well as a first attempt at reducing the Karen dialects of writing.

He spent 20 years studying the spelling for five hundred years back . Isaac Pitman . later development by Bloomfield . Elisha Coles (1692). Alexander Hume .George Dalgarno. Chester Heralt had a book published in (1509).William Jones . and above all Henry Sweet whom Firth describes as our pioneer leader . Sir Thomas Smith . Thomas Smith (1568). and the use of English accessible to the foreign .Sir John Cheke. John Wallas . They wished to make learning accessible in the vernacular to Englishmen .All the coterie believed in the strength and worth of the native English character. John Wilkins (1668).The development of American Indian linguistics remains the characteristic American contribution . was mainly interested in problems of spelling and pronunciation. The following are examples of Sir Thomas Smith‟s spellings : ces carite kac cheese charity catch Roger Ascham .The work of Boas and Sapir . Firth cites such pioneers as Thomas More .Thomas Gurney. and orthographers including short hand inventors since the time of Elizabeth I or since Alfric‟s Latin grammar in English. John Hart. . Timothe Bright (1588). one of the cleverest thinkers on language.Walter Haddon . and greatest philologist . Joseph Wright.Walter Haddon . all contribute to the position held by American scholarship in Linguistics . John Byron . Provost of King‟s . Charles Butler (1634). the Bell family . William Blanchard .Cave Beck(1657). John Hart (1569).Thomas Wilson (1553).Firth makes a review to the “weighty contributions” of English linguists . William Holder (1669). William Bullokar (1580). Secretary to Queen Elizabeth I.to the eleventh century . were all friends of his and formed a coterie which did much to mould the course of the Renaissance in England on its pedagogic side . Then . grammarians .that is . phoneticians . Richard Temple (1899).The Latinists.

author of the English Grammar .Alexander Hume . we had Thomas Gurney . and gymnastics. Universal Alphabets . He held the view that grammar is built on good spelling .invented at least two vowel symbols still in common use .And in the 19th century we had the great Isaac Pitman –one of the makers of the English School of Phonetics. usually described as The Orientalist. use of superfluous letters . William Holder . They all had interest in Charactery . had a book on shorthand entitled “Charactery” in which he discussed five main topics : the widening of the linguistic horizons . wrote a book of the orthography and congruities of the Britain Tongue. Then in the 18th century .and begs His Majesty James I to reform the grammar. a teacher of the Tongue of the foreigner . the names of the letters. Byron . Blanchard . linked the studies of grammar . music .and author of The Complete English Schoolmaster written for children and for foreigners. to whom the invention of the technique of shorthand is attributed . Sir William Jones is one of the makers of The English School of phonetics . George Dalgarno . the movement for a universal language .Spelling Reform and Shorthand . produced an alphabet for the Deaf and Dumb as well. Timothe Bright . a rationalist . He gives an excellent account of the organs of speech . Elisha Coles . Charles Buttler . a schoolmaster . believing that the exercise of the limbs and the ordering of the voice in speech and song were complementary. the study of exotic alphabets . The works of William Bullokar published between 1580 and 1586 present many features : description of the pronunciation . problems of transcription . the linguistic endeavours of the missions. and world English.a distinguished Scottish schoolmaster. and Taylor.Doctor of Divinity and Fellow of the Royal Society . new grammar .He produced a special dissertation on ‘The .His book The Elements of Speech published in 1669 is one of the most interesting in the early history of phonetics. He felt the great need of a proper use of the roman alphabet in Oriental studies .

It is implicit in Sweet‟s Broad Romic which dates back to about the same time as Kruszewski.The title „The English School of Phonetics‟ is a phrase taken from Sweet‟s paper to the Philological Society on „The practical Study of Language‟ in 1884.according to Firth is our pioneer leader . Sir William Jones‟s contribution to the study of spelling . with the addition of letters for Arabic and Persian is the first presentation of what may be called a phonetic alphabet on such a scale . It is to Kruszewski we owe the distinct use of the terms „sound‟.So the proposal to employ the term phoneme comes from Kruszewski. .Sweet is considered the founder of the English school on phonetics.Orthography of Asiatic Words in Roman Letters’.Sweet‟s phonetics was practical as well as academic .gives the early history of the term phoneme . and greatest philologist.he takes it back to one of his pupils . Henry Sweet .Accordingly . Germany and America. Kruszewski extended the term phoneme to include sound alternances associated with changes of morphological categories. Firth . But the „ phoneme idea‟ as Firth holds must be regarded as implicit in the work of all phoneticians and orthographists who have employed broad transcription.within the framework of history of linguistics . transcription and transliteration . His chart of symbols for the transliteration of the Devanagari.Phonetic study in the modern sense was pioneered by Sweet (1845-1912). and „phoneme‟. Sweet in his book Handbook of Phonetics published in 1877 wrote :England may now boast a flourishing phonetic school of its own .Firth points out that the phoneme idea is Polish and Russian in origin. Baudouin de Courtenay. one of the cleverest thinkers on language . was the inspiration for a great deal of work in England .he was concerned with systemizing phonetic transcription in connection with problems of spelling reform. a Polish linguist .It appears in Jespersen‟s phonetics and also in de Saussure‟s Course of General Linguistics. „phone‟ .traces back the modern phoneme theory . together with his wise observations on phonetics.Kruszewski.

University of Baghdad College of Arts English Department Teaching Cohesion and Coherence With Excellent Results A Paper Submitted As a Requirement of a PhD Course in Applied Linguistics by Khalid Shamkhi May 2012 .

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