15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Revising the Phonetics of the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Michael Ashby

University College London, UK

With total sales to date of more than 30 million, the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary (OALD) must have a claim to be among the most widely disseminated applications of IPA symbols in the world. This paper outlines the research background to the innovations in analysis and symbolization which the author has introduced as phonetics editor of the fifth and sixth editions (1995, 2000). Four areas are considered: the representation of vowels in weak syllables, including the addition of weak vowels /i/ and /u/ (happY, inflUence); clarification of the appropriate British target accent for learners, which remains RP (or more accurately its present-day reflex, for which there is no entirely satisfactory name); expansion of the treatment of American pronunciation, and new policy on the indication of stress in phrasal verbs.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ashby, Michael (2003): "Revising the phonetics of the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary", In ICPhS-15, 2853-2856.