Tuesday, 26 May 2009

PLTC 2009

UCL and the University of Westminster will jointly be organizing another Phonetics Teaching and Learning Conference this summer. It will run from the 6th to the 9th of August at UCL in central London.
You can read about it here.
It is held every two years, and this year's topics will be
• general phonetics
• phonetics for speech therapy and audiology
• phonetics for the performing arts
• phonetics for language teaching
• forensic phonetics
• the use of IT and distance learning in phonetics.
The organizers have done me the honour of inviting me to give the keynote address, which I have decided to call Dear Professor Wells. I will discuss some of the emails I have received over the past few months (mainly concerning LPD) and how I have answered them. This gives an insight into the points in English phonetics that I have evidently not explained clearly enough in the dictionary or elsewhere.
Some of the questions people ask are extremely sophisticated. Others are anything but. Fortunately not all emails I receive are as laconic and unanswerable as one that reached me recently from an address in Saudi Arabia:
hi.. i'm from ksa
i want to teach english
please............
by: [name]

Another, laconic but easily answered, read
Are you a man?
—to which the answer is yes.

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