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This is the first book-length monograph to address all aspects of phonetic transcription. The aim of phonetic transcription is to represent the sounds of speech on paper. This book surveys the history of attempts to represent speech, considering the relationship of transcription to written language and includes a thorough analysis of the many different kinds of phonetic transcription. It then reviews contemporary uses of phonetic transcription in a range of situations including dictionaries, language teaching texts, phonetic and phonological studies, dialectology and sociolinguistics, speech pathology and therapy, and forensic phonetics. The author grounds his work in the philosophy of phenomenalism and defends his approach against the criticisms of experimental phoneticians and linguistic rationalists. It analyses broad, narrow, auditory, systematic, segmental, suprasegmental and parametric phonetic transcription. It includes a glossary of key terms. It demonstrates the comparison, classification and interpretation of phonetic transcriptions for different purposes through a series of examples. It includes an appendix of 5 phonetic notation charts. It features 58 illustrative figures.