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For my outside interests page, click here.

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I'm Professor of Phonetics at University College London. My research interests focus on general phonetics -- the phonetic and phonological description of languages -- and in particular on the phonetics of English in all its varieties. I am the author of Accents of English, a phonetic description of native-speaker varieties of English around the world, and the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, a pronouncing dictionary covering both RP and General American.

From 1990 to 2000 I was Head (Chairman) of the UCL Department of Phonetics and Linguistics, a job which I have now handed over to Dr Val Hazan. I'm also the Director of the UCL Summer Course in English Phonetics, to which we welcome over a hundred overseas students every year.

Movements. I have recently been away from home as follows:

I'm responsible for the undergraduate courses PLINP201 Phonology of English and PLINX202 English Accents, and also for the postgraduate P9 Phonological Analysis. I'm the tutor for the MA Phonetics.

For many years I was the Secretary of the International Phonetic Association and editor of the Journal of the IPA; I am still a member of its Council, and am responsible for organizing its Certificate examination. Recently I have helped in the preparation of an audio cassette, The Sounds of the IPA. I have also taken an active part in the development of SAM-PA, a standardized machine-readable phonetic alphabet originally designed explicitly for the languages of the European Union, but now being extended to cater for all the languages of the world by encoding the entire IPA Chart.

I have designed a group of phonetic character sets (TrueType fonts) for Windows. They cover all the symbols on the current IPA Chart, including diacritics and tone marks, and are now available for purchase from the Department of Phonetics and Linguistics. Unlike some competitors' fonts, they are comprehensive, sensibly assigned to keystrokes, and inexpensive.

I was originally trained as a classicist, studying Latin, Greek and Ancient History at A level and then reading Classics at Cambridge, where I was a Scholar of Trinity College. It was at Cambridge that Sidney Allen introduced me to linguistics and, in particular, John Trim introduced me to phonetics, which immediately captivated me. I came to UCL as a postgraduate to do the MA Phonetics under Fry, Gimson and O'Connor. On gaining the MA I was appointed to the academic staff, and have been here ever since.

My native language is English, and I speak various other languages with varying degrees of proficiency. In particular, I speak Esperanto fluently, and between 1989 and 1995 was President of the World Esperanto Association (Universala Esperanto-Asocio). I am a member of the London Esperanto Club.

As a teenager I learnt not only Latin, Classical Greek, and French (at school), but also German (with a German family through an exchange scheme) and Esperanto (see above: self-taught). Later, as an adult, I learnt Welsh. I have a slighter (mainly passive) knowledge of Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Modern Greek.

You can see my short c.v. and a select list of my publications.

My email address is j.wells@phon.ucl.ac.uk ...and I also have a number of aliases, including wells@phon.ucl.ac.uk.

My welcome page.

UCL Phonetics and Linguistics home page.

University College London home page.

last modified 2000 10 03