7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
authoritative and clear reference book, September 20, 2004
I first used this book as the primary text when I was a student in a
3000-level French phonetics and pronunciation course in college. It
begins with a detailed explanation of the International Phonetic
Alphabet (IPA) and how the symbols represent the sounds of French. Along
with this are graphics of the speech organs (mouth, nasal cavity,
articulators) showing where each sound is produced.
There are many exercises in chapter one (and the appendix) to familiarze
you with the use of IPA, including IPA-to-French transcribing exercises
and vice versa. (Unfortunately, there are no answer keys in the book for
Chapter two goes on to cover things like liason, accent, rhythm, and
intonation (la prosodie), and the difference between vowels and
Chapter three focuses entirely on vowel sounds.
Chapter four details nasal vowels.
Chapter five is about "le E muet."
Chapter six returns to the particulars of semi-vowels.
Chapter seven is about consonants (sub-sections are occlusives,
fricatives, liquides, nasales, la lettre H, et consonnes ecrites
Each chapter includes oral practice examples to refine your
pronunciation and to draw your attention to the subtle differences
between pronunciations. For example:
As a teacher of French, I use this book often when I need to look up a
rule or an exception. It is a wonderful reference book. If you are not
familiar with IPA, this book may not be right for you just yet. If you
know IPA or use this book as a course textbook, keep it on your shelf to
use when tricky pronunciations have you guessing.
It is written entirely in French, but when I first used it as an upper
division college level French student I had no problems with