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Pronunciation is in the Brain, not in the Mouth


A Cognitive Approach to Teaching it


This book investigates the cognitive roots of pronunciation in children and adults and the emergence of accent with adults when learning a second language (L2). Subsequently, any teaching of L2 pronunciation to adults should be premised on a multisensory and multicognitive approach covering a wide selection of teaching and learning strategies consistent with the cognitive roots.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0415-0
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Aug 28,2014
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 276
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0415-0
$79.82
$47.89

This book introduces language as an infinite code of communication that is exclusively confined to human beings. More specifically, it investigates the cognitive roots of pronunciation in children and adults and the emergence of accent with adults when learning a second language (L2). Subsequently, any teaching of L2 pronunciation to adults should be premised on a multisensory and multicognitive approach covering a wide selection of teaching and learning strategies that are in line with the cognitive roots. From the pedagogical perspective, the book introduces the distinction between phonological accent—a mispronunciation that results in the change of the targeted meaning—and phonetic accent which is a mispronunciation that does not change meaning. In real-life situations, and more so in classroom situations, the objective should be the elimination or reduction of phonological accent prior to tackling the phonetic one. The book applies all the above concepts on a wide variety of languages supported with a combination of visual, auditory and tactile-kinesthetic as well as cognitive strategies.


Edward Y. Odisho was born in Kirkuk/Iraq in 1938. He received his B.A. Honors in English language in 1960, and completed his graduate studies at Leeds University/England, receiving his M. Phil. in 1973 and Ph.D. in 1975 in phonetics sciences. After escaping Saddam’s regime in 1980, he sought asylum in the USA and has spent the last three decades teaching at Loyola University Chicago and Northeastern Illinois University, after which he retired as Professor Emeritus. He has published scores of research papers and articles in various international journals as well as 9 books.

This book introduces language as an infinite code of communication that is exclusively confined to human beings. More specifically, it investigates the cognitive roots of pronunciation in children and adults and the emergence of accent with adults when learning a second language (L2). Subsequently, any teaching of L2 pronunciation to adults should be premised on a multisensory and multicognitive approach covering a wide selection of teaching and learning strategies that are in line with the cognitive roots. From the pedagogical perspective, the book introduces the distinction between phonological accent—a mispronunciation that results in the change of the targeted meaning—and phonetic accent which is a mispronunciation that does not change meaning. In real-life situations, and more so in classroom situations, the objective should be the elimination or reduction of phonological accent prior to tackling the phonetic one. The book applies all the above concepts on a wide variety of languages supported with a combination of visual, auditory and tactile-kinesthetic as well as cognitive strategies.


Edward Y. Odisho was born in Kirkuk/Iraq in 1938. He received his B.A. Honors in English language in 1960, and completed his graduate studies at Leeds University/England, receiving his M. Phil. in 1973 and Ph.D. in 1975 in phonetics sciences. After escaping Saddam’s regime in 1980, he sought asylum in the USA and has spent the last three decades teaching at Loyola University Chicago and Northeastern Illinois University, after which he retired as Professor Emeritus. He has published scores of research papers and articles in various international journals as well as 9 books.

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Contributor Biography

Edward Odisho

Edward Y. Odisho was born in Kirkuk/Iraq in 1938. He received his B.A. Honors in English language in 1960. Taught English for eleven years in Iraq after which he went to England to further his education in Phonetic Sciences at Leeds University. He received his M. Phil. in 1973 and Ph.D. in 1975. Under pressure from Saddam Hussein’s regime, he escaped Iraq in 1980 and settled in U.S.A. In U.S. he taught at Loyola University Chicago for 20 years. He concurrently taught at Northeastern Illinois University between 1990 and 2008 where he retired as Professor Emeritus . Has published scores of research papers and articles in various international journals. Has also published 9 books 7 of which are within the acquisitions of the Library of Congress.

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Foreword (page 13)
  • Acknowledgments (page 19)
  • Lists of Symbols and Phonetic Lables (page 21)
  • Chapter 1: My Story with Languages, Pronunciation, and Accent (page 27)
    • 1.1. Prelude (page 27)
    • 1.2. The Evolution of my Interest in Linguistics and Phonetics (page 28)
      • 1.2.1. Natural Language Internalization: Language Acquisition (page 29)
      • 1.2.2. A Major in English Language in a non-English Environment (page 30)
      • 1.2.3. Full Immersion as an Adult in Two Languages (page 31)
      • 1.2.4. Phonetic and Linguistic Orientation in Graduate Education (page 36)
      • 1.2.5. Educational and Professional Challenges in the U.S. (page 37)
    • 1.3. The Impact of my Linguistic/Professional Background on the Evolution of an Approach (page 38)
      • 1.3.1. Impact of my Linguistic Background (page 38)
      • 1.3.2. Impact of my Teaching Career (page 40)
    • 1.4. Concluding Remarks (page 46)
      • 1.4.1. Childhood Trilingualism Triggered interest in Languages (page 47)
      • 1.4.2. Learning Kurdish Triggered interest in Linguistics (page 47)
      • 1.4.3. Graduate Study Immersed me in Phonetics and Linguistics (page 48)
      • 1.4.4. Professional Challenges in the U.S. (page 49)
  • Chapter 2: The Cognitive Base of Language (page 51)
    • 2.1. Language: A Species-Specific Code of Communication (page 51)
    • 2.2. Language: A Cognitive-Social System Superimposed on other Systems (page 53)
      • 2.2.1. Vocal Tract Modification (page 54)
      • 2.2.2. Vocal Folds (Cords) Modes (page 55)
      • 2.2.3. Tongue Functions and Maneuverability (page 56)
      • 2.2.4. Lip Configurations (page 56)
      • 2.2.5. Cavities Resonance (page 57)
    • 2.3. Brain 'Speaking' via Respiratory and Digestive Systems (page 57)
    • 2.4. Economy in Language (page 59)
    • 2.5. Conscious and Subconscious Brains (page 63)
    • 2.6. Concluding Remarks (page 66)
  • Chapter 3: Language in the Brain of a Child (page 67)
    • 3.1. Learning vs. Acquisition: Conceptual Differences (page 67)
    • 3.2. The Brain of a Child and Language (page 68)
      • 3.2.1. Child Brain Formation and Maturation (page 68)
      • 3.2.2. Formative Months and Years of Mother Tongue (page 70)
    • 3.3. Cognitive Transition in Sound and Perception and Production (page 72)
      • 3.3.1. Transition from Phonetics to Phonology (page 74)
      • 3.3.2. The Brain as the Commander-in-Chief of Language Acquisition: The Cognitive Roots of Linguistic Accent (page 76)
    • 3.4. Fossilization or Psycholinguistic Insensitivity (page 78)
    • 3.5. There is Room in the Human Brian for more than One Language (page 80)
    • 3.6. Narrowing Down the Broad Definition of Accent (page 81)
    • 3.7. Implications for Understanding the Cognitive Nature of the Accent (page 82)
    • 3.8. Concluding Remarks (page 83)
  • Chapter 4: Linguistic Accent: Definition, Classification, and Demonstration (page 85)
    • 4.1. Introductory Remarks (page 85)
    • 4.2. Intralanguage and Interlanguage Accents (page 86)
    • 4.3. Phonetic and Phonological Accents (page 88)
    • 4.4. Accent: A Normal Linguistic Phenomenon (page 90)
    • 4.5. What is Meant by Accent Acquisition, Accent Reduction, and Accent Impersonation (page 91)
      • 4.5.1. Accent Acquisition (page 92)
      • 4.5.2. Accent Reduction (Remediation) (page 93)
      • 4.5.3. Accent Impersonation or Faking (page 95)
      • 4.5.4. Intralanguage Accent Reduction and Impersonation (page 98)
    • 4.6. Cultural Accent (page 99)
    • 4.7. Transition of Accent into Orthography (page 100)
    • 4.8. Concluding Remarks (page 102)
  • Chapter 5: A Broad Base for Understanding the Pedagogy of Teaching Pronuciation (page 105)
    • 5.1. Introductory Remarks (page 105)
      • 5.1.1. Speech: A Cognitive Phenomenon (page 106)
      • 5.1.2. Pronunciation: Nultisensory Access (page 107)
      • 5.1.3. Pronunciation: Multicognitive Access (page 108)
      • 5.1.4. Pronunciation: An Integrated and Holistic Process (page 109)
      • 5.1.5. Pronunciation: Top-Down & Bottom Up Dynamics (page 110)
      • 5.1.6. Pronunciation: The Complementary Nature of Acquisition and Learning (page 111)
      • 5.1.7. Pronunciation: A Natural Gift for Children (page 112)
      • 5.1.9. Pronunciation Should be Premised on a Triangular Base of Perception, Recongnition, and Production (page 113)
      • 5.1.9. Pronunciation & Psycholinguistic Insensitivity (page 115)
      • 5.1.10. Pronunciation: Understanding its Scientific Premises (page 116)
      • 5.1.11. Pronunciation: Its Feedback Mechanisms (page 117)
      • 5.1.12. Pronunciation: In Light of Multiple Intelligences Theory (page 117)
      • 5.1.13. Pronunciation: A Generative Skill (page 118)
      • 5.1.14. Pronunciation: Interactive Involvement of Instructors and Learners (page 119)
    • 5.2. Concluding Remarks (page 120)
  • Chapter 6: Ten Commandments for Teaching Effective Pronunciation (page 121)
    • 6.1. Introductory Remarks (page 121)
      • 6.1.1. Thou Shall Teach Pronunciation as a Cognitive Undertaking (page 123)
      • 6.1.2. Thou Shall Teach Children and Adults Differently (page 123)
      • 6.1.3. Thou Shall be Qualified for Instruction in Pronunciation (page 124)
      • 6.1.4. Thou Shall Familiarize Learners with Human Speech Production (page 125)
      • 6.1.5. Thou Shall Orient Learners Psychologically (page 125)
      • 6.1.6. Thou Shall Use all Sensory Modalities to Prop up Instruction (page 126)
      • 6.1.7. Thou Shall Use all Cognitive Modalities to Prop up Instruction (page 127)
      • 6.1.8. Thou Shall Transform Learners from Listeners to Performers (page 127)
      • 6.1.9. Thou Shall Refain from Insistence on Learner (page 128)
      • 6.1.10. Thou Shall Make the Classroom a Place for Learning and Fun (page 128)
    • 6.2. Concluding Remarks (page 129)
  • Chapter 7: Examples of Cross-Language Accent-Causing Consonants (page 131)
    • 7.1. Introductory Remarks (page 131)
    • 7.2. Outline of the English Consonant System (page 131)
      • 7.2.1. Interdental Pair (page 132)
      • 7.2.2. Approximant (page 133)
      • 7.2.4. English Plosives (page 137)
      • 7.2.5. Labio-Dental Fricatives (page 139)
      • 7.2.6. The Affricates (page 140)
    • 7.3. Concluding Remarks (page 141)
  • Chapter 8: Examples of Cross-Language Accent-Causing Vowels (page 143)
    • 8.1. Salient Features in General Vowel Description (page 143)
    • 8.2. The Vowel System of English (page 147)
      • 8.2.1. Simple Vowels of General American English (page 148)
    • 8.3. Selections of Cross-Language Accent-Causing Vowels (page 150)
      • 8.3.1. Hispanic Learners of Egnlish Vowels (page 151)
      • 8.3.2. Arab Learners of English Vowels (page 154)
  • Chapter 9: Examples of Cross-Language Accent-Causing Suprasegmentsals (page 159)
    • 9.1. A Description of the Most Salient Features of Suprasegmentals (page 159)
    • 9.2. Stress and Rhythm (page 162)
    • 9.3. Tone and Intonation (page 166)
    • 9.4. Basic Pitch and Patterns (page 166)
    • 9.5. Consonant Clusters (page 167)
    • 9.6. Concluding Remarks (page 171)
  • Chapter 10: The Rolse of Articulatory Settings in Pronunciation and Accent (page 173)
    • 10.1. Introductory Remarks (page 173)
    • 10.2. Salient Features of Articulatory Settings of Selected Languages (page 176)
      • 10.2.1. English Articulatory Settings (page 176)
      • 10.2.2. Spanish Articulatory Settings (page 181)
      • 10.2.3. Arabic Articulatory Settings (page 188)
    • 10.3. Concluding Remarks (page 191)
  • Chapter 11: Principles of Multicognitive Approach to Teaching Pronunciation (page 193)
    • 11.1. Introductory Remarks (page 193)
    • 11.2. Multicognitive Principles for Teaching Pronunciation (page 195)
      • 11.2.1. Think about L2 Speech Sounds (page 196)
      • 11.2.2. Transition from Hearing to Listening (page 197)
      • 11.2.3. Learn Something about Speech Production (page 197)
      • 11.2.4. Mechanical Repetition Hardly Works with Adults L2 Learning (page 198)
      • 11.2.5. Follow the 'Perceived, Recognize, and Produce' Procedure (page 199)
      • 11.2.6. Instructor's Academic and Professional Qualifications (page 202)
      • 11.2.7. Plan Instructional Connection with Learners (page 203)
      • 11.2.8. Explain, Demostrate, and Demonstrate Multisensorily (page 203)
      • 11.2.9. Deal with Pronunciation in a Holistic Fashion (page 204)
      • 11.2.10 Consider both Top-Down and Bottom-Up Perspectives (page 205)
      • 11.2.11. Do not Confuse Memorization with Retention (page 205)
      • 11.2.12. Deal with Pronuncition as a Generative Skill (page 207)
    • 11.3. Concluding Remarks (page 207)
  • Chapter 12: Principles of Multisensory Approach to Teaching Pronunciation (page 209)
    • 12.1 Introductory Remarks (page 209)
    • 12.2. Multisensory Principles for Teaching Pronunciation (page 210)
      • 12.2.1. Auditory Modality (page 210)
      • 12.2.2. Visual Modality (page 212)
      • 12.2.3. Tactile, Kinesthetic, Proprioceptive Modalities (page 214)
    • 12.3. Developing Teaching and Learning Strategies (page 215)
      • 12.3.1. Developing Teaching Strategies (page 215)
      • 12.3.2. Developing Learning Strategies (page 218)
    • 12.4. Concluding Remarks (page 220)
  • Chapter 13: Exemplary Applications of Accent Remediation Techniques (page 223)
    • 13.1. Introductory Remarks (page 223)
    • 13.2. Techniques for Teaching Selected Consonants (page 223)
    • 13.3. Techiques for Teaching Labial-Dental Sounds (page 224)
    • 13.4. Techniques for Teaching Interdental Friactives (page 228)
    • 13.5. Techniques for Teaching Tense (Long) vs. Lax (Short) Vowels (page 233)
    • 13.6. Techniques for Teaching Vowel Reduction (page 239)
    • 13.7. Techniques for Teaching Accentuation (Stress) (page 244)
    • 13.8. Concluding Remarks (page 250)
  • Chapter 14: Tips for Accent Reduction and Accent Detection (page 253)
    • 14.1. Introductory Remarks (page 253)
    • 14.2. Tips for Accent Reduction (page 254)
      • 14.2.1. Tackle the most Salient Phonologial Problems (page 254)
      • 14.2.2. Tackle the most Salient Phonetic Problems (page 257)
      • 14.2.3. Improve other Linguistic Skills (page 258)
    • 14.3. Accent Detection (page 258)
      • 14.3.1. Accent Detection by Ordinary Individuals (page 259)
      • 14.3.2. Accent Detection by Professionals (page 259)
      • 14.3.3. Telling the Linguistic Background of a Speaker through Accent (page 260)
      • 14.3.4. Hiding an Agent through Hiding an Accent (page 263)
    • 14.4. Concluding Remarks (page 267)
  • References (page 269)