This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful.Find sources: "Jane Setter" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (January 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Jane Setter
Setter-Jane 2661 crop.jpg
Born (1966-07-18) 18 July 1966 (age 56)
Eastbourne, East Sussex, England, United Kingdom
Notable work
English Pronouncing Dictionary, eds. 15–18; Hong Kong English
AwardsNational Teaching Fellowship[1]

Jane Setter (born 18 July 1966 in Eastbourne) is a British phonetician. She teaches at the University of Reading, where she is Professor of Phonetics. She is best known for work on the pronunciation of British and Hong Kong English, and on speech prosody in atypical populations.


Jane Setter attended Dane Court Grammar School, Broadstairs, Kent, before taking Language Studies and English at the College of Ripon and York St John (then part of the University of Leeds). She then completed an MA in Linguistics and English Language Teaching at the University of Leeds in 1992, and a PhD at the University of Reading (while working in Hong Kong), which she was awarded in 2001.


From 1989 to 1991, she was an English language tutor at the private ACC English Language School in Japan. On completing her MA, she took up a number of part-time positions at the University of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan University (now Leeds Beckett University) and the University of Reading before being appointed as a full-time Assistant Professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where she worked from 1995 to 2001. After several part-time lecturing positions at University College, London, City, University of London and the University of Reading, she was appointed full-time as lecturer in Phonetics at the University of Reading in 2004, subsequently gaining promotion to Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor and, in 2013, Professor of Phonetics.[2] She was Head of English Language and Applied Linguistics at Reading University from 2009 to 2015.

Writing and research

She is notable for her work as co-editor of the Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary for the editions from the 16th (2003) to the current 18th (2011);[3] for the 15th edition (1997), she is listed as Pronunciation Associate. She is the lead author on the co-authored Hong Kong English,[4] of which one reviewer wrote "this book has achieved its goal of providing an overview of Hong Kong English as an emergent variety of English to general readers",[5] and Speech Prosody in Atypical Populations, co-edited with long-term research collaborator Vesna Stojanovik.[6] A review of this book said "Overall, this edited volume fills a clear void in the literature in the area of atypical prosody”.[7] She has published a large number of research papers and is a popular invited speaker on the international conference circuit, appearing in, among other countries, Korea, Japan, Spain, Ukraine, the US and France. Setter was a Plenary Speaker at the 2017 conference of the International Association of Teaching English Overseas (IATEFL), the first phonetician to be invited to do this in the Association's fifty-year history.[8] She makes regular media appearances on television and radio shows nationally and internationally, and also in the press, commenting mainly on issues related to British and overseas accents of English, accent prejudice and the way people speak.[9][10][11][12][13] Setter has held a number of grants, mainly for research related to aspects of speech prosody (e.g. intonation, rhythm and stress) in Global Englishes, such as Hong Kong and Malaysian English, and among children with Williams and Down's syndrome. Her book Your Voice Speaks Volumes [14] was published by Oxford University Press in November 2019, appearing in paperback[15] in July 2021.

Selected publications




  1. ^ "Professor Jane Setter | Advance HE".
  2. ^ Setter, Jane. "Professor Jane Setter". Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics. University of Reading. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  3. ^ Roach, Peter; Esling, John; Setter, Jane (2011). Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (18th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 580. ISBN 978-0-521-15255-6.
  4. ^ Setter, Jane; Wong, Kathy; Chan, Brian (2010). Hong Kong English. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-0-7486-3596-2.
  5. ^ Bei, G.X. (2013). "Review of Setter, Wong and Chan Hong Kong English". English World-Wide. 34 (3): 383–385. doi:10.1075/eww.34.3.09xia.
  6. ^ Stojanovik, Vesna; Setter, Jane (2011). Speech Prosody in Atypical Populations: Assessment and Remediation. J&R Press. ISBN 978-1-9078-2600-9.
  7. ^ "Review of Speech Prosody in Atypical Populations: Assessment and Remediation". International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders. 47 (4): 471–2. 2012. doi:10.1111/jlcd.2012.47.issue-4.
  8. ^ IATEFL. "2017 Glasgow Conference" (PDF). Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  9. ^ 6Medias. "Le bourreau de James Foley pourrait ȇtre britannique". Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  10. ^ British Comedy Guide. "Duck quacks don't echo". Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  11. ^ Alan Titchmarsh Show. "Jane talking phonetics". Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  12. ^ The Telegraph (28 November 2013). "Guide to pronunciation: from Moët to diplodocus". Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  13. ^ Setter, Jane. "Mispronunciation: why you should stop correcting people's mistakes". The Conversation. The Conversation Trust (UK) Limited. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  14. ^ Setter, Jane (2019). Your Voice Speaks Volumes. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198813842.
  15. ^ Setter, Jane (July 2021). Your Voice Speaks Volumes: it's not what you say but how you say it (Paperback ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780192843029. Retrieved 18 August 2021.