French Sound Structure provides a comprehensive, detailed, and well-illustrated description of the pronunciation of Modern Standard French, incorporating comments on regional and social variation, on abbreviatory processes and "word play," and on certain historical phonological changes that continue to be reflected in the contemporary language. It is written in a way that presupposes little or no formal training in linguistics proper (other than some familiarity with phonetic notation, to which students of linguistics are normally exposed independently). This work will be of interest to university students studying French and to students of linguistics in general. Others wishing to know more about the nature of the French language will also find the material useful since pronunciation is rarely considered in any detail in general handbooks of French. The accompanying CD-ROM is a valuable asset, providing oral examples relevant to the linguistic material under study.
Douglas Walker, professor emeritus in the Department of French, Italian and Spanish at the University of Calgary, has held academic positions in both Canada and the United States and has authored An Introduction to Old French Morphophonology, The Pronunciation of Canadian French, and numerous articles and reviews.
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