Gordon Arnold:
an obituary

J.C. Wells

Gordon Arnold, who has died at the age of 79, was the co-author, with J.D. O'Connor, of Intonation of Colloquial English (Longman, 1961; second edition, 1973), which not only proved a successful textbook for learners of English but also exerted considerable influence on intonation studies in general. It combined new theoretical insights with a practical and teachable notation system and lively drill material.

Gordon came from Braintree in Essex. As an undergraduate at UCL he read French, but his studies were interrupted by war service. When he graduated, in 1947, the then head of the Department of Phonetics, Daniel Jones, appointed him Assistant Lecturer, on the recommendation of his teacher of French phonetics, Helene Coustenoble. This procedure nowadays seems shockingly informal for an academic appointment — he had no MA, still less a PhD — but nevertheless worked out well. In due course he was promoted Lecturer (1950) and Reader (1966). He was the author of Stress in English Words (North-Holland, 1957) and a number of EFL phonetics textbooks: as well as the intonation book, there were English Pronunciation Practice, with A.C. Gimson (U. of London Press 1965, second edition 1973) and Say it with Rhythm, with O.M. Tooley (Longman, three parts, 1971-73). He played a substantial administrative role in College, becoming Tutor to Arts Students and Sub-Dean (1973) and then Senior Tutor (1979). In 1978 he was made a Fellow of the College. He took early retirement in 1982 with the title Emeritus Reader in Phonetics.

Gordon Frederick Arnold, born 22 Jan 1920, died 30 December 1999.

Placed on the web by JCW 2001 05 24
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