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American English Spelling : An Informal Description - D.W. Cummings

American English Spelling

An Informal Description

Paperback Published: 21st January 2004
ISBN: 9780801879562
Number Of Pages: 592
For Ages: 22+ years old

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In this study of the English language as it is spelled in America, D. W. Cummings demonstrates that behind the apparent disorder of spelling in American English lies a self-regulating and self-reorganizing system that is responsive to four kinds of imperative: phonetic, semantic, etymological, and systemic. Cummings offers a systematic theory of orthography and applies this theory to the American English vocabulary with numerous examples. Cummings also describes the explication of written words into their elements, particles, and processes, and he sets out the tactical and procedural rules that control the distribution and sequencing of vowels and consonants. In the largest section of the book, he provides an exhaustive description of the major and minor correspondences between the sounds of American English words and their spellings. An essential reference work, American English Spelling moves beyond questions of how words are spelled to an understanding of why they are spelled as they are.

"A book which anyone interested in writing systems, especially English writing, should own... I have two copies of it now and I am sure that they will quickly become... dog-eared and annotated." - Mark Aronoff, Language "One of the most comprehensive books on the subject that you will find... a work intended for the serious student/scholar of American English, its spelling, and its formation." - American Reference Books Annual "One needs to be reminded that English orthography does, in the main, make sense; there is an underlying structure to which most words adhere. In American English Spelling, D. W. Cummings updates Jespersen and other grammarians, elucidating the rules of English orthography in meticulous detail... It can be browsed with much profit, or used as a reference to answer specific questions." - Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics"

Notes on Usage
Analysisp. 1
Spelling as Systemp. 3
The Explication of Written Wordsp. 32
Tacticsp. 67
Sequences and Distributionsp. 69
String Patterns and Rulesp. 90
Suffix Rulesp. 112
VCV in Dissyllablesp. 123
The Third Syllable Rulep. 131
Proceduresp. 143
Silent Final e and Its Deletion Rulep. 145
The Twinning Rulep. 161
Assimilated Prefixesp. 177
Correspondencesp. 199
The Sounds and Letters of Englishp. 201
Short a, /a/p. 213
Short e, /e/p. 217
Short i, /i/p. 222
The Short o's, /a/ and /o/p. 231
High Short u, /u/p. 241
Low Short u, /u/p. 244
Long a, /a/p. 249
Long e, /e/p. 258
Long i, /i/p. 271
Long, o, /o/p. 280
The Simple Long u, /u/p. 288
The Complex Long u, /yu/p. 297
The Diphthongs, /oi/ and /au/p. 301
Vovels before /r/p. 307
The Front Stops: /b/, /p/, /d/, and /t/p. 327
The Velar Stops, /g/ and /k/p. 350
The Simple Fricatives /v/, /f/, /th/, /th/, and /h/p. 373
The Simple Fricatives /z/ and /s/p. 391
The Palatal Sibilants : /sh/, /ch/, /j/, and /zh/p. 407
The Nasals: /m/, /n/, and /n/p. 423
The Liquids, /l/ and /r/p. 439
The Semivowels, and /w/ and /y/p. 456
Conclusionp. 461
Bibliographyp. 465
Index of Wordsp. 475
General Indexp. 539
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780801879562
ISBN-10: 0801879566
Audience: General
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 592
Published: 21st January 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.24  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.86