I am fully capable of speaking, reading and writing (British-)English and my native language, but I find that I tend to mumble and muffle my voice. Furthermore, I would love to perfect my speech in all the ways possible, and I find that the science of articulation (articulatory phonetics) would be the best ways to do this.

I don't want to hit up random books on Amazon, so do you know which books are the bibles within this areas?

Maybe theatre-oriented books would deal with articulation and contain some exercises?

  • Before you can get an appropriate response, you would need to specify which brand of English you would like to be good at articulating. Do you want to speak like a New Zealander? Like an Australian? Like someone from Nottingham, or someone from New York? – Vincent McNabb Aug 15 '10 at 22:56
  • I see. I speak British, but I assumed the book(s) would have a more general scope. I'll add it to my post - thanks for bringing it to my attention. – Kiwi Aug 16 '10 at 17:03
  • 2
    Community wiki? – Goodbye Stack Exchange Aug 16 '10 at 17:35
  • Well, there are many theatre oriented books. If you are muffling and mumbling, I would recommend you to look at both breathing and phonation aspects. Breathing --> Phonation --> Articulation. Singing coaches spend most of the time on the first two. I like Jo Estill's approach to singing, which focuses on developing awareness and kinesthetic skills. – RainDoctor Aug 20 '12 at 22:39

Ladefoged and Maddieson’s Sounds of the World’s Languages is generally regarded in the field of linguistics as the standard reference for phonetics. It covers in great detail both the articulation and acoustics of nearly all sounds used in natural languages.

It is not a book that specializes in the specifics of English articulation, but it contains nearly everything you could ever want to know about how to produce every sound of every language.


I am just attending a public speaking course and our teacher recommended to us a great book: "Your voice and how to use it" by Cicely Berry. Cicely is a voice director of Royal Shakespeare Company and during her career she worked with many people who had various issues (including mumbling) with their spoken language.

This book goes into great details on many practical solutions and tips on how to speak with confidence and how to improve your articulation.

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