The source code, if you will: An outline of English structure

There may be folks out there who have wondered, where did the Trager/Smith notation come from? How did the original authors envision it being used? What were their motivations for creating it?

Ladies and gentlemen, if you have not had a chance to see Trager and Smith’s original material on the Trager/Smith notation, I present it to you below…

Trager, George L., and Henry Lee Smith. 1957.An outline of English structure [4th printing]. Washington: American Council of Learned Societies.

Note: Recall that a critique of the Trager/Smith notation by Kurath is also available on the blog.


About daviddurian
I am a sociolinguist with a Ph D in Linguistics from The Ohio State University and an MA in Rhetoric and Professional Writing from Northern Illinois University. Currently, I work as the Lecturer at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, where I teach undergraduate courses in sociolinguistics, general linguistics, and first-year composition. I also work on research projects investigating variation and change in the vowel system of modern US English as it is spoken by Americans living in a variety of cities. At the moment, this includes Chicago, IL, Columbus, OH, and Eastern Pennsylvania.

2 Responses to The source code, if you will: An outline of English structure

  1. Matt Gordon says:

    I’m sure you’re familiar with this Stockwell and Minkova piece:

    which includes some brief criticism of Labov’s adaptation of the T&S system.

    They also misuse an early NWAVe version of my Michigan research by reproducing the figure of the NCS that my paper was challenging.

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