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Clive Upton is a professor of English language at the University of Leeds, England, specializing in dialectology and sociolinguistics. He has acted as a consultant on British pronunciation for the English-language dictionaries published by Oxford University Press, including the Oxford English Dictionary, the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, and the Concise Oxford Dictionary. He was also responsible for the British element of the Oxford Dictionary of Pronunciation for Current English (2001).
Upton's system for representing the vowels of British English is based on the International Phonetic Alphabet, following the normal practice of the late 20th century. He chose a presentation of these known as "qualitative–quantitative," where vowels are distinguished and represented in transcription by both quantity (length) and quality (distinct symbols for the vowel sounds). Short vowels and long vowels are represented by specific symbols, while long vowels are also followed by /ː/, a colon-like mark used in IPA to indicate their greater length.
The IPA symbols he chose for DRESS, TRAP, NURSE, SQUARE, and PRICE of British English are different from those found in other dictionaries. To some extent this reflects actual shifts in the "Received Pronunciation" of British English during the 20th century. Some British linguists accustomed to a different set of symbols have taken issue with some of his choices. One such linguist is John C. Wells.
- "IPA transcription systems for English". www.phon.ucl.ac.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-07.
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