THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Sound and vision blog

05 December 2016

Recording of the week: UCL word list

This week's selection comes from Jonnie Robinson, Lead Curator of Spoken English.

It’s not clear what the purpose of this word list is, but it’s one of ten created by linguists at UCL, probably in the 1950s. It might be a prompt for phonetic transcription practice or possibly a pronunciation guide to English vowel sounds. In the 1980s UCL phonetician Professor Wells established his ‘lexical sets’ – a list of key words used by linguists to capture and describe English pronunciation in a variety of accents. The first words in this list would be represented in Wells’ lexical sets as TRAP, STRUT and DRESS.

UCL Word List 10

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