Kenyon and Knott

Kenyon and Knott is the informal name for "A Pronouncing Dictionary of American English", first published in 1944 by John Samuel Kenyon and Thomas A. Knott. It provides a phonemic transcription of General American pronunciations of words, using symbols largely corresponding to those of the IPA.

Kenyon and Knott use a broad transcription rather than a narrow one. For example, the long "o" vowel of "toe", which is a diphthong in open syllables in most American accents, is represented by the single symbol [o] , rather than IPA| [oʊ] as it would be represented in a narrow transcription.

Deviations from the IPA found in Kenyon and Knott are mostly made for typographical convenience:

*The symbol Unicode| [ᴜ] (a small capital U) is used instead of IPA| [ʊ] for the vowel of "foot" and the second part of the diphthong of "mouth".
*The "looptail g" of the IPA.
*The symbol IPA| [r] is used instead of IPA| [ɹ] to denote the alveolar approximant of American English.
*The markers for primary and secondary stress tilt slightly toward the center rather than being absolutely vertical. In other words, they look more like and / than like | and |.
*The colon [:] is used in place of IPA IPA| [ː] to indicate length, although length is rarely marked in KK.
*In foreign words, a barred g (Unicode|ǥ) is used instead of IPA| [ɣ] to indicate a voiced velar fricative.

One principal application of Kenyon and Knott's system is to teach American English pronunciation to non-native speakers of English. It is commonly used for this purpose in Taiwan.

Many of the pronunciations in Kenyon and Knott seem antiquated today and dictionaries such as "Longman Pronunciation Dictionary", ed. John C. Wells, Longman Group Ltd. 1990, ISBN 0-582-05383-8, have replaced it, providing more contemporary pronunciations.


*cite book | first = John S. | last = Kenyon | authorlink = John Samuel Kenyon | coauthors = Thomas A. Knott | year = 1944/1953 | title = A Pronouncing Dictionary of American English | publisher = Merriam-Webster | location = Springfield, Mass. | id = ISBN 0-87779-047-7

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