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ISBN: 978-978-963-711-9

The English language has become one of the most important and popular means of communication the world over. With this development came serious research in the language so much so that English language is being taught in secondary schools and universities as a course of study. The field has overlapped the tiny canvas set for it as just a regular means of communication and inculcated different areas for study like linguistics, phonetics and phonology, socio-linguistics, pragmatics, semantics, morphology etc.

In this regard, Enyinnaya Ukpabi has, with his book Concise Phonetics in English contributed to the discourse on language and most especially on the field of phonetics and phonology.

Concise Phonetics in English is an applaudable project which will do significant feat in the teaching of oral English. Ukpabi has done considerable justice to the topic that your coarse intonation and pronunciation remains unchanged after going through this book. Concise Phonetics in English will surely polish any reader’s spoken English; refine all crooked accent and increase the speaker’s confidence. This book endeavors to offer modern concepts of intonation for the benefits of students, scholars and every speaker of the English language.

Ukpabi did impressively well with the topic; never has a textbook on oral English been so practically dissected and explained like this one. He literally analyzes and strips the mystery behind phonetics and phonology in the English language unveiling its complex parts in the most simplistic way for easy comprehension.

Not just the English language, the author went as far as analyzing the etymology of foreign words introduced into the English grammar, their origins, history and their relationship to the English language. To facilitate easy comprehension of the text, complex phonological facts have been presented in tabulated and diagrammatical forms whereby the reader doesnt have to struggle to decipher the text.

There are lots to be studied in Concise Phonetics in English, so much the author painstakingly went extra miles to bring to the reading pleasure of the reader.

For instance, Ukpabi went as far as outlining phonetic features of each vowel sound (short and long), manner of articulation, and phonetic pronunciations of vowels in different positions in the word and even their transcriptions, as well as a well- illustrated diagram to go with. The author made relevant examples with words in context to provide for more graphic illustration.

Even though this edition is not an all- encompassing analyses of everything phonetics and oral English, for it lacks some basic topics on phonetics like consonant clusters, stress, rhymes etc; it however is a “concise” project as the author rightly captioned, handling vehemently the topics treated to the limit of their analysis and structure, disclosing generously about the vowel, diphthong and thriphthong as the case may be in the second part of the book; and about general phonetics and its importance in the society and the English language in the first part of the book. Also, an illustrative explanation of the different organs use for speech will leave the reader surprised how much there are which he had most likely never cared to know.

What is more important about this book is that the author uses examples from the surroundings of the learner and reader which make it easier for comprehension. The author tries to reflect the Nigerian society, culture and surrounding, taking cognizance of the three major ethnic groups— Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba and also their unique intonation and mother tongue interference.

With the mass of attention the author offered to the topics covered in Concise Phonetics in English, I am willing to tender that the present book with its peculiar features and fresh techniques will be of considerable help to both secondary school students and university students as well.

This book will be a major aid for students preparing for English language exams of oral English and phonetics for it has provided viable examples students can actually learn from. Teachers and scholars of English language with a major in oral English and phonology will need this piece to aid in teaching their students and for referencing.

Lastly and most importantly, Concise Phonetics in English is sure to develop a reader’s grammatical expertise and incline their pronunciation to near perfect.

It is of course a recommended text for every speaker of the English language as either a first or second language, for students, scholars, and all eager to maintain a fluent tongue and flawless pronunciation of English words.

Author: Eugene Yakubu

Eugene Yakubu is a book critic, reviewer and storyteller. He loves art and nature; and spends his time reading beautiful novels and writing stories. He reviews Nigerian books for Authorpedia.

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