We don’t need to tell you that the Internet is a wonderful source of information, education and entertainment. And that it’s especially useful for many aspects of phonetics, phonology, and dialect research. Furthermore, most of what it provides for the student phonetician comes absolutely free of charge. Be warned, though! Internet websites, like mushrooms, suddenly appear – and then, like ghosts, just as mysteriously disappear, sometimes only to reappear under a changed name. You have to keep your wits about you when using web resources.
We list here just a very small selection of the best (and most permanent) of the numerous websites concerned with phonetics now available on the Internet. By going to these, you can gain access to an enormous amount of background information on phonetics, phonology, acoustics, accents, and much more. You can obtain, free of charge, excellent phonetic fonts. Be sure to download the modern ones called Unicode, which enable you to read phonetic material with ease and send it to other people; a widely available font is Lucida Sans Unicode. Perhaps you’re interested in experimenting with speech analysis programs such as WASP or Praat (also available free of charge). These will enable you, for example, to discover the nature of your intonation patterns, and then allow you to synthesise new speech melodies and superimpose them on your original utterances. You can also go to sites on with collections of accents and dialects (including Estuary English), read a wide selection of articles on pronunciation, find the original recordings of the cardinal vowels, watch videos of vowel and consonant articulations and of the vocal folds in action – we could go on!
The following links are presented as recommendations. All information on these websites are the responsibility of their administrator and may change over time. If you find any broken links or websites with inaccurate information, please let us know.
Websites providing various resources:
http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sounds/ British Library sound archives – wide range of varieties of English with audio recordings and descriptions.
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychlangsci/research/speech/resources Speech analysis resources including WASP speech analysis program, phonetic fonts and keyboards, and much more.
http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/wells/ John Wells’s homepage: information on Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, accents of English, Estuary English, and much more.
http://www.langsci.ucl.ac.uk/ipa/ International Phonetic Association (IPA) and the IPA alphabet.
www.cambridge.org./elt/peterroach website for Roach (2009) with a variety of material including a clickable glossary.
http://scripts.sil.org/Home Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), providing a wide range of free Unicode phonetic fonts.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/voices/ BBC website with much UK dialect material, but hasn’t been recently updated.
http://web.ku.edu/idea/ International Dialects of English Archive, a collection of world varieties of English, also non-native accent samples, many with transcripts.
http://www.fon.hum.uva.nl/praat/ Praat – a speech analysis program which is very widely used; more complex than WASP.
http://www.cf.ac.uk/encap/staff/tench/tswords.html Practical audio course for transcription of English words.
http://www.let.uu.nl/~audiufon/data/e_cardinal_vowels.html Original recordings of the Cardinal vowels by Daniel Jones.
http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/~jcoleman/phonation.htm Simplified illustrations of the speech mechanism.
http://www.phonetics.dk Phonex – a course program containing listening exercises and transcription practice, combined with basic phonetic background information)
Blogs with mainly phonetic interest
http://alex-ateachersthoughts.blogspot.com/ Alessandro Rotatori’s ‘Alex’s phonetic thoughts’.
http://matters-phonetic.blogspot.com/ Petr Rösel’s ‘Kraut’s English phonetic blog’.
http://phonetic-blog.blogspot.com/ John Wells’s daily blog.
http://blogjam.name John Maidment’s blog.
http://www.yek.me.uk/ Jack Windsor Lewis’s ‘Phonetiblog’ containing many interesting articles and papers going back for many years.