varieties of english - anul i


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Page 1: Varieties of English - Anul I







Lector univ. dr. ŢIRBAN NARCISA

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Learning a second or foreign language not only implies studying grammatical aspects of the language, but also dealing with the culture of its speakers. A language cannot be taught without taking into account its socio-cultural system: appropriateness of language, gestures, social distance, values, mores, taboos, habits, social institutions, registers, dialects, and so forth.

Varieties of English, is a course that aims to incorporate these social aspects of language into the teaching and learning of English. The goals of this textbook are a) to help high intermediate to advanced students use the language within the social context; b) to make students aware of how English speakers use their language in terms of style, register and dialect; and c) to encourage students to analyze their culture and the culture of English speakers in order to be able to cope with cross-cultural misunderstandings.

This course focuses on regional differences in English. Students are invited to work on origins of American place names, definitions of dialect and idiolect, and the two major dialects of English. At the same time, they are engaged in developing language skills (vocabulary about place names, prefixes, suffixes), and reading strategies (guessing meaning from context). They also study differences between British and American English in terms of spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

It concentrates on American English dialects: the description and location of the main dialects of American English, differences among these dialects, their origins, and how American English has been enriched by other languages and varieties. Students have the opportunity to work on language areas such as the pronunciation of sounds typical of American English, Latinate vocabulary, listening comprehension, and reading skills.

Varieties of English appears to be effective in the teaching of a second or foreign language. The topics covered in the course heighten students' awareness of the social aspects of language; students thus become more interested in the syntactic, semantic, lexical, phonological, and pragmatic aspects of the language they are studying.

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I. The Origin and History of theEnglish Language

English is a West Germanic language originating in England, and is the first language for most people in the Anglophone Caribbean, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States (sometimes referred to as the Anglosphere). It is used extensively as a second language and as an official language throughout the world, especially in Commonwealth countries and in many international organisations. A native or fluent speaker of English is known as an Anglophone. (f. L. Anglo "English" + Gk. phone "sound, speech").

Modern English is sometimes described as the first global lingua franca. English is the dominant international language in communications, science, business, aviation, entertainment, radio and diplomacy. The influence of the British Empire is the primary reason for the initial spread of the language far beyond the British Isles. Since World War II, the growing economic and cultural influence of the United States has significantly accelerated the adoption of English.

A working knowledge of English is required in certain fields, professions, and occupations. As a result, over a billion people speak English at least at a basic level (see English language learning and teaching). English is one of six official languages of the United Nations.

English is an Anglo-Frisian language. Germanic-speaking peoples from northwest Germany ( Saxons and Angles) and Jutland ( Jutes) invaded what is now known as Eastern England around the fifth century AD. It is a matter of debate whether the Old English language spread by displacement of the original population, or the native Celts gradually adopted the language and culture of a new ruling class, or a combination of both of these processes (see Sub-Roman Britain).

Whatever their origin, these Germanic dialects eventually coalesced to a degree (there remained geographical variation) and formed what is today called Old English. Old English loosely resembles some coastal dialects in what are now northwest Germany and the Netherlands (i.e., Frisia). Throughout the history of written Old English, it retained a synthetic structure closer to that of Proto-Indo-European, largely adopting West Saxon scribal conventions, while spoken Old English became increasingly analytic in nature, losing the more complex noun case system, relying more heavily on prepositions and fixed word order to convey meaning. This is evident in the Middle English period, when literature was to an increasing extent recorded with spoken dialectal variation intact, after written Old English lost its status as the literary language of the nobility. It has been postulated that English retains some traits from a Celtic substratum. Later, it was influenced by the related North Germanic language Old Norse, spoken by the Vikings who settled mainly in the north and the east coast down to London, the area known as the Danelaw.

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The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 greatly influenced the evolution of the language. For about 300 years after this, the Normans used Anglo-Norman, which was close to Old French, as the language of the court, law and administration. By the latter part of the fourteenth century, when English had replaced French as the language of law and government, Anglo-Norman borrowings had contributed roughly 10,000 words to English, of which 75% remain in use. These include many words pertaining to the legal and administrative fields, but also include common words for food, such as mutton, beef, and pork. However, the animals associated with these foods (e.g. sheep, cow, and swine ) retained their Saxon names, possibly because as a herd animal they were tended by Saxon serfs, while as food, they were more likely to be consumed at a Norman table. The Norman influence heavily influenced what is now referred to as Middle English. Later, during the English Renaissance, many words were borrowed directly from Latin (giving rise to a number of doublets) and Greek, leaving a parallel vocabulary that persists into modern times. By the seventeenth century there was a reaction in some circles against so-called inkhorn terms.

During the fifteenth century, Middle English was transformed by the Great Vowel Shift, the spread of a prestigious South Eastern-based dialect in the court, administration and academic life, and the standardizing effect of printing. Early Modern English can be traced back to around the Elizabethan period.

The English language belongs to the western sub-branch of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European family of languages.

The question as to which is the nearest living relative of English is a matter of discussion. Apart from such English-lexified creole languages such as Tok Pisin, Scots (spoken primarily in Scotland and parts of Northern Ireland) is not a Gaelic language, but is part of the Anglic family of languages, having developed from early northern Middle English. It is Scots' indefinite status as a language or a group of dialects of English which complicates definitely calling it the closest language to English. The closest relatives to English after Scots are the Frisian languages, which are spoken in the Northern Netherlands and Northwest Germany. Other less closely related living West Germanic languages include German, Low Saxon, Dutch, and Afrikaans. The North Germanic languages of Scandinavia are less closely related to English than the West Germanic languages.

Many French words are also intelligible to an English speaker (though pronunciations are often quite different) because English absorbed a large vocabulary from Norman and French, via Anglo-Norman after the Norman Conquest and directly from French in subsequent centuries. As a result, a large portion of English vocabulary is derived from French, with some minor spelling differences (word endings, use of old French spellings, etc.), as well as occasional divergences in meaning, in so-called "faux amis", or false friends.

Approximately 375 million people speak English as their first language, as of 2006. English today is probably the third largest language by number of native speakers, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. However, when combining native and non-native speakers it is probably the most commonly spoken language in the world, though possibly second to a combination of the Chinese Languages, depending on whether or not distinctions in the latter are classified as "languages" or "dialects." Estimates that include second language speakers vary greatly from 470 million to over a billion depending on

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how literacy or mastery is defined. There are some who claim that non-native speakers now outnumber native speakers by a ratio of 3 to 1.

The countries with the highest populations of native English speakers are, in descending order: United States (215 million), United Kingdom (58 million), Canada (17.7 million), Australia (15.5 million), Ireland (3.8 million), South Africa (3.7 million), and New Zealand (3.0-3.7 million). Countries such as Jamaica and Nigeria also have millions of native speakers of dialect continua ranging from an English-based creole to a more standard version of English. Of those nations where English is spoken as a second language, India has the most such speakers (' Indian English') and linguistics professor David Crystal claims that, combining native and non-native speakers, India now has more people who speak or understand English than any other country in the world. Following India is the People's Republic of China.

English is the primary language in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia ( Australian English), the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize, the British Indian Ocean Territory, the British Virgin Islands, Canada ( Canadian English), the Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guernsey ( Guernsey English), Guyana, Ireland ( Hiberno-English), Isle of Man ( Manx English), Jamaica ( Jamaican English), Jersey, Montserrat, Nauru, New Zealand ( New Zealand English), Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the United Kingdom, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the United States (various forms of American English).

In many other countries, where English is not the most spoken language, it is an official language; these countries include Botswana, Cameroon, Dominica, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Ghana, Gambia, India, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malta, the Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, the Solomon Islands, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It is also one of the 11 official languages that are given equal status in South Africa ( South African English). English is also the official language in current dependent territories of Australia (Norfolk Island, Christmas Island and Cocos Island) and of the United States (Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa and Puerto Rico), and in the former British colony of Hong Kong.

English is an important language in several former colonies and protectorates of the United Kingdom but falls short of official status, such as in Malaysia, Brunei, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. English is also not an official language in either the United States or the United Kingdom. Although the United States federal government has no official languages, English has been given official status by 30 of the 50 state governments.

The expansion of the British Empire and—since WWII—the primacy of the United States has spread English throughout the globe. Because of that global spread, English has developed a host of English dialects and English-based Creole languages and pidgins.

The major varieties of English include, in most cases, several sub varieties, such as Cockney slang within British English; Newfoundland English within Canadian English; and African American Vernacular English (" Ebonics") and Southern American

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English within American English. English is a pluricentric language, without a central language authority like France's Académie française; and, although no variety is clearly considered the only standard, there are a number of accents considered to be more prestigious, such as Received Pronunciation in Britain.

Scots developed — largely independently — from the same origins, but following the Acts of Union 1707 a process of language attrition began, whereby successive generations adopted more and more features from English causing dialectalisation. Whether it is now a separate language or a dialect of English better described as Scottish English is in dispute. The pronunciation, grammar and lexis of the traditional forms differ, sometimes substantially, from other varieties of English.

Because of the wide use of English as a second language, English speakers have many different accents, which often signal the speaker's native dialect or language. For the more distinctive characteristics of regional accents, see Regional accents of English speakers, and for the more distinctive characteristics of regional dialects, see List of dialects of the English language.

Just as English itself has borrowed words from many different languages over its history, English loanwords now appear in a great many languages around the world, indicative of the technological and cultural influence of its speakers. Several pidgins and creole languages have formed using an English base, such as Jamaican Creole, Nigerian Pidgin, and Tok Pisin. There are many words in English coined to describe forms of particular non-English languages that contain a very high proportion of English words. Franglais, for example, is used to describe French with a very high English word content; it is found on the Channel Islands. Another variant, spoken in the border bilingual regions of Québec in Canada, is called Frenglish.



IPA Description word


i/iː Close front unrounded vowel bead

ɪ Near-close near-front unrounded vowel bid

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ɛ Open-mid front unrounded vowel bed

æ Near-open front unrounded vowel bad

ɒ Open back rounded vowel box 1

ɔ/ɑ Open-mid back rounded vowel pawed 2

ɑ/ɑː Open back unrounded vowel bra

ʊ Near-close near-back rounded vowel good

u/uː Close back rounded vowel booed

ʌ/ɐ/ɘ Open-mid back unrounded vowel, Near-open central vowel bud

ɝ/ɜː Open-mid central unrounded vowel bird 3

ə Schwa Rosa's 4

ɨ Close central unrounded vowel roses 5


e(ɪ)/eɪ Close-mid front unrounded vowelClose front unrounded vowel

bayed 6

o(ʊ)/əʊ Close-mid back rounded vowelNear-close near-back rounded vowel

bode 6

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aɪ Open front unrounded vowelNear-close near-front unrounded vowel


aʊ Open front unrounded vowelNear-close near-back rounded vowel


ɔɪ Open-mid back rounded vowelClose front unrounded vowel


ʊɚ/ʊə Near-close near-back rounded vowelSchwa

boor 9


Open-mid front unrounded vowelSchwa

fair 10


It is the vowels that differ most from region to region. Where symbols appear in pairs, the first corresponds to American English, General American accent; the second corresponds to British English, Received Pronunciation.

1. American English lacks this sound; words with this sound are pronounced with /ɑ/ or /ɔ/.

2. Many dialects of North American English do not have this vowel. See Cot-caught merger.

3. The North American variation of this sound is a rhotic vowel. 4. Many speakers of North American English do not distinguish between these two

unstressed vowels. For them, roses and Rosa's are pronounced the same, and the symbol usually used is schwa /ə/.

5. This sound is often transcribed with /i/ or with /ɪ/. 6. The diphthongs /eɪ/ and /oʊ/ are monophthongal for many General American

speakers, as /eː/ and /oː/. 7. The letter <U> can represent either /u/ or the iotated vowel /ju/. In BRP, if this

iotated vowel /ju/ occurs after /t/, /d/, /s/ or /z/, it often triggers palatalization of the preceding consonant, turning it to /ʨ/, /ʥ/, /ɕ/ and /ʑ/ respectively, as in tune, during, sugar, and azure. In American English, palatalization does not generally happen unless the /ju/ is followed by r, with the result that /(t, d,s, z)jur/ turn to /tʃɚ/, /dʒɚ/, /ʃɚ/ and /ʒɚ/ respectively, as in nature, verdure, sure, and treasure.

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8. Vowel length plays a phonetic role in the majority of English dialects, and is said to be phonemic in a few dialects, such as Australian English and New Zealand English. In certain dialects of the modern English language, for instance General American, there is allophonic vowel length: vowel phonemes are realized as long vowel allophones before voiced consonant phonemes in the coda of a syllable. Before the Great Vowel Shift, vowel length was phonemically contrastive.

9. This sound only occurs in non-rhotic accents. In some accents, this sound may be, instead of /ʊə/, /ɔ:/. See pour-poor merger.

10. This sound only occurs in non-rhotic accents. In some accents, the schwa offglide of /ɛə/ may be dropped, monophthising and lengthening the sound to /ɛ:/.

ConsonantsThis is the English Consonantal System using symbols from the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).


dental alveolarpost-

alveolarpalatal velar glottal

plosive p  b     t  d     k  ɡ  

nasal m     n     ŋ 1  

flap       ɾ 2        

fricative   f  v θ  ð 3 s  z ʃ  ʒ 4 ç 5 x 6 h

affricate         tʃ  dʒ 4      

approximant       ɹ 4   j    

lateral approximant       l        


approximant ʍ  w 7

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1. The velar nasal [ŋ] is a non-phonemic allophone of /n/ in some northerly British accents, appearing only before /k/ and /g/. In all other dialects it is a separate phoneme, although it only occurs in syllable codas.

2. The alveolar flap [ɾ] is an allophone of /t/ and /d/ in unstressed syllables in North American English and Australian English. This is the sound of tt or dd in the words latter and ladder, which are homophones for many speakers of North American English. In some accents such as Scottish English and Indian English it replaces /ɹ/. This is the same sound represented by single r in most varieties of Spanish.

3. In some dialects, such as Cockney, the interdentals /θ/ and /ð/ are usually merged with /f/ and /v/, and in others, like African American Vernacular English, /ð/ is merged with dental /d/. In some Irish varieties, /θ/ and /ð/ become the corresponding dental plosives, which then contrast with the usual alveolar plosives.

4. The sounds /ʃ/, /ʒ/, and /ɹ/ are labialised in some dialects. Labialisation is never contrastive in initial position and therefore is sometimes not transcribed. Most speakers of General American realize <r> (always rhoticized) as the retroflex approximant /ɻ/, whereas the same is realized in Scottish English, etc. as the alveolar trill.

5. The voiceless palatal fricative /ç/ is in most accents just an allophone of /h/ before /j/; for instance human /çjuːmən/. However, in some accents (see this), the /j/ is dropped, but the initial consonant is the same.

6. The voiceless velar fricative /x/ is used by Scottish or Welsh speakers of English for Scots/Gaelic words such as loch /lɒx/ or by some speakers for loanwords from German and Hebrew like Bach /bax/ or Chanukah /xanuka/. /x/ is also used in South African English. In some dialects such as Scouse (Liverpool) either [x] or the affricate [kx] may be used as an allophone of /k/ in words such as docker [dɒkxə]. Most native speakers have a great deal of trouble pronouncing it correctly when learning a foreign language. Most speakers use the sounds [k] and [h] instead.

7. Voiceless w [ʍ] is found in Scottish and Irish English, as well as in some varieties of American, New Zealand, and English English. In most other dialects it is merged with /w/, in some dialects of Scots it is merged with /f/.

Voicing and aspirationVoicing and aspiration of stop consonants in English depend on dialect and context, but a few general rules can be given:

Voiceless plosives and affricates (/ p/, / t/, / k/, and / tʃ/) are aspirated when they are word-initial or begin a stressed syllable — compare pin [pʰɪn] and spin [spɪn], crap [kʰɹ >æp] and scrap [skɹæp].

o In some dialects, aspiration extends to unstressed syllables as well. o In other dialects, such as Indo-Pakistani English, all voiceless stops remain


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Word-initial voiced plosives may be devoiced in some dialects. Word-terminal voiceless plosives may be unreleased or accompanied by a glottal

stop in some dialects (e.g. many varieties of American English) — examples: tap [tʰæp ̚], sack [sæk̚].

Word-terminal voiced plosives may be devoiced in some dialects (e.g. some varieties of American English) — examples: sad [sæd>], bag [bæɡ@]. In other dialects they are fully voiced in final position, but only partially voiced in initial position.

II. Varieties of English


The size of the British Isles often leads people to assume that the language spoken in its countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland is somewhat homogeneous and first time visitors are often surprised to find that they have difficulty in understanding the

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accents and dialects of certain regions. Even within the country of England alone there is great diversity of dialect both regionally and socially.

Trudgill (1999) believes that for the majority of English people "where they are from" is very important to them. Accents are clues to where people were born and where they grew up. Although some people may change the way they speak during their lifetimes, most people "carry at least some trace" of their accent and dialect origins throughout their lives:

In addition to the regional accents of England, there can also be class differences reflected in the different accents. The general sociolinguistic issues section discusses this more fully.

The term "British English" can occasionally be confusing depending upon the regions included by the term British. For the purpose of this project the current study of British English will concentrate on dialects and accents found within the country of England itself and will not include those found in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland.Although there is an abundance of different dialects within England that can be referred to as "northern" or "southern" for example, they do not really follow any sharp boundaries or coincide with any county lines. Dialects form a continuum and as Trudgill (1999) describes, they can be differentiated on a "more-or-less" basis rather than an "either-or" one. It is common in Britain for people who display particularly broad accents to be labeled by terms such as "Geordie", "Cockney", "Jock" or "Scouse." All of these identify a specific regional accent, most of which are recognizable to many of the people in the country. Trudgill (1999) discusses specific regional dialects and vocabulary for many areas of Great Britain.

In Britain, "people are often able to make instant and unconscious judgements about a stranger’s class affiliation on the basis of his or her accent." (Wells 1982a) Both the words and pronunciation of many individuals reflect that person’s social position. It is agreed that in England, the "phonetic factors assume a predominating role which they do not generally have in North America" (Wells 1982a).

Traditionally, it has been acknowledged that in England, the relation between social and regional accents can be diagrammed as follows:

Geographical variation is represented along the broad base of the pyramid while the vertical dimension exhibits social variation. It can be seen that working class accents display a good deal of regional variety, but as the pyramid narrows to its apex, up the

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social scale, it’s also apparent that upper class accents exhibit no regional variation. (Wells 1982a)Thus by definition, any regional accent would not be considered upper-class and the more localizable the accent, the more it will describe as a "broad" accent. Wells (1982a) purports that broad accents reflect:

regionally, the highest degree of local distinctiveness socially, the lowest social class linguistically, the maximal degree of difference from RP.

A 1972 survey carried out by National Opinion Polls in England provides an example of how significantly speech differences are associated with social class differences. (Wells 1982a) The following question was asked:"Which of these [eleven specified factors] would you say are most important in being able to tell which class a person is?" Respondents were randomly chosen from the British public. The factor that scored the highest was "the way they speak" followed by "where they live." At the bottom of the list was "the amount of money they have." All this is evidence that then, and to some degree even now, "speech is regarded as more indicative of social class than occupation, education and income." (Giles & Sassoon, 1983) also cite consistent findings of listeners evaluating anonymous speakers with standard accents more favorably for such status traits as intelligence, success, confidence. In Britain the middle class is associated with having not only a standard accent, but with also speaking in a more "formal and abstract style than working class."

Accents are often characterized by British speakers themselves as either "posh" or "common" accents. Most speakers of British English would recognize these labels and create a fairly accurate image of the sound of these far ends of the spectrum. Conservative or U-"Received Pronunciation" representing the "posh" end and a less broad version of Cockney representing the "common" accent.

The significance of accents and their cultural and social associations is well represented in films and on television in Britain. The critically acclaimed 1964 file My Fair Lady based on George Bernard Shaw’s 1912 play, Pygmalion is often referenced in linguistic discussions as a wonderful example of how social class and accent were, and are still, inextricably linked in Britain. Over the past years, numerous television series have also provided viewers with a glimpse of the lives and accents of the Cockney population of London. The Cockney English section talks more about the current, very popular long running television series East Enders.

As language change continues to take place within Britain and within England, there are some who claim that a relatively newly established accent, "Estuary English" (EE) is due to replace the traditional educated accent of England Received Pronunciation" (RP). (Wells, 1998) Estuary English is reported to be used by speakers who constitute the social "middle ground" Rosewarne, 1984) and is discussed in detail under the Estuary English section.

It must be emphasized, however, that there are many features in common among these more prevalent accents that are present in England and that they must be thought of as existing on a continuum rather than having strict, non fuzzy boundaries.

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Social scientists estimate the number of U.S. dialects range from a basic three - New England, Southern and Western/General America - to 24 or more. Some researchers go so far as to suggest it's actually impossible to count the number of dialects in the United States because under a loose definition of the term, thousands of cities, towns and groups have their own varieties or dialects.

The authors of American English explain it this way:“When people ask us what we do for a living, and we reply that we study American English dialects, one of the next questions inevitably is, "how many dialects are there?" This question is surprisingly difficult to answer, despite the fact that researchers have been investigating language variation in America for at least a century. Discrete boundaries between dialects are often difficult to determine, since dialects share many features with one another. In addition, even the smallest dialect areas are characterized by incredible heterogeneity. Speakers use different language forms - or identical forms at different percentage rates or in different ways - based not only on where they live but also on such factors as their social class, their ethnicity, their gender, and even whether or not they view their home region as a good place to live. Further, different dialect boundaries may emerge depending on which level of language we chose to focus on.” Walt Wolfram & Natalie Schillings-Estes


This linguistic variety is commonly referred to as Black English (BE), Black English Vernacular (BE), African-American Vernacular English (AAVE), and Inner City English (ICE).

There have been three primary theories regarding the source of African-American English. These three theories can be named the following:a. Decreolized Creole b. Variety of Southern States English c. The "Unified" Theory

Proponents of the decreolized creole theory maintain that African-American English arose from a pidgin that was created among slaves from various linguistic backgrounds, primarily from West Africa. This pidgin included features of both the West African languages and English. Over time, this pidgin developed into a creole, and then more recently, became decreolized, and began to resemble English more closely.

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Others state that African-American English is a variety of Southern States English, noting that the two varieties have many features in common, such as the Southern Vowel Shift, vowel lowering, and double modals.

Proponents of the unified theory state that African-American English arose from a number of sources, including West African languages and Southern States English, through a variety of evolutionary tracks.

African-American English has a number of phonological features, including:a. Consonant Cluster Reduction b. Realization of /T/ and /D/ as /t,f/ and /d,v/ c. Vowel Lowering d. /z/ -> [d] in Contractions e. Monophthongization f. R-lessness


The term American Indian English refers to a number of varieties of English that are spoken by indigenous communities throughout North America. As Leap (1982) states, "there are many Indian English-es." Each one is unique in its phonology, syntax and semantic properties. In this area of the site, we will explore some of the features that have been studied in terms of different varieties of American Indian English.

There are two primarily studied sources of the features attributed to American Indian English. In some cases, it has been proposed that the features of American Indian English originate from the same sources as other nonstandard varieties of English, such as Southern States English. In other cases, it has been argued that features of American Indian English are the result of influence from the native language.

Some varieties of English that will be represented on this site are Mojave English, Isletan English, Tsimshian English, Lumbee English, Tohono O'odham English, and Inupiaq English.Features:a. The Central Diphthong b. Final Devoicing c. Deletion of Final Voiced Stops d. Final -> e. Vowel Shift f. Consonant Cluster Reduction


Canadian English, for all its speakers, is an under-described variety of English. In popular dialectological literature it is often given little acknowledgement as a distinct and homogeneous variety, save for a paragraph or two dedicated to oddities of Canadian

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spelling and the fading use of British-sounding lexical items like chesterfield, serviette, and zed.

There is a small body of scholarly research that suggests that if there is such a thing as a Canadian English, all its unique characteristics are being lost. In fact, Lilles (2000) goes so far as to claim that there is no such thing as a distinct Canadian English, and argues that the notion of Canadian English is a myth, fabricated to reinforce a fragile Canadian identity. As evidence, he cites the lack of phonological and orthographic standardization for Canadian English, the paucity of distinct Canadian vocabulary, and the appearance of regionalisms associated with various parts of the United States.

Sutherland (2000) quickly rebuts by pointing out that Canadian English is more than a "network of regionalisms", and that a variety can be distinct by more than its vocabulary. We can add that orthographic standards tell us little about what makes a spoken variety unique. Further, as you have navigated the LSP site, you will have seen that although few linguistic features are unique to any dialect, the confluence of a particular set of features is what makes a dialect unique. This is certainly true of Canadian English: no other dialect has all the same features.

Other research suggests that the few unique traits of Canadian English are disappearing in favour of American forms. Clarke (1993) and Chambers (1998) point to the loss of certain lexical items, like chesterfield and serviette, and the loss of certain phonological traits, like voiceless wh of which and [yu] in news and student. These are seen as a signal of the impending convergence of Canadian and American English. Indeed, Woods (1993) identifies eight phonological variables as characteristically Canadian, and argues that most of them are disappearing.Features:a. Phonetic properties of Canadian vowels: the low-back merger and the Canadian Shift b. The vowel space c. Some regional differences d. Canadian Phonology e. Canadian Raising: the Central Diphthong f. Borrowings with low vowels


The northeastern United States has a wide variety of distinct accents and dialects. The diversity that exists in the modern northeast is partially a consequence of its older settlement: communities like Boston, New York, and Philadelphia have been around longer than similar-sized communities in the western U.S. As a result, the speech of each urban community has had more time to diverge from the dialects of other nearby cities. Yet as we will see below, some of these divergent innovations are comparatively recent.

This part is intended as a gateway to discussions of several specific northeastern dialects. The general traits page describes a number of features common to all northeastern dialects. These are features which help distinguish them as a group from other American varieties like Southern American English, African American English, and the English of the Mid-west and West. You wil also find links to pages about the English in and around Boston and New York City. In addition, the discussion of the Northern

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Cities Shift describes some phonological features that are typical of Detroit, Buffalo, and Chicago, among others.Features of northeastern dialectsa. General traitsb. Boston Englishc. New York Englishd. The Northern Cities Shifte. R-lessness in different dialects. f. The low-back phonemes in different dialects.


The term Southern American English (also known as Southern States English) refers to a number of varieties of English spoken in many of the southern States, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Virginia, and parts of Arkansas, Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia.  Although these varieties are not uniform throughout these states, they share certain common characteristics that differentiate them from other varieties found in the Northern and Western United States.

The precise boundaries of Southern American English depend upon the variables being studied, however Carver (1987) provides a map of the major dialect areas of the United States, including Southern American English (the background image is based on this map). This map delineates three major divisions of Southern American English: the Upper South, Lower South, and Delta South. There are also some narrower classifications, such as Virginia Piedmont and Southeastern Louisiana. It should be noted that this classification has been criticized in recent years (Frazer 1997).

Speakers of Southern American English have been stereotyped as uneducated or stupid, but without justification. Since the use of the dialect is stigmatized, educated speakers often attempt to eliminate many of its more distinctive features from their personal idiolect. Well-known speakers of Southern dialect include United States Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton along with playwright Tennessee Williams and singer Elvis Presley.

Pronunciation1. Merger of the /e/ and /i/ vowel sounds before nasals, such that "pen" and "pin" are pronounced the same 2. Change of the /z/ sound in contractions to /d/, e.g. "wasn't" = /wadnt/ 3. The diphthong /aI/ becomes monophthongized to a single long vowel /a:/. Some speakers have this feature before voiced consonants but not before voiceless consonants, so that ride is /ra:d/ and wide is /wa:d/, but right is /raIt/ and white is /hwaIt/; others monophthongize /aI/ in all contexts. 4. The diphthongization or triphthongization of the traditional short front vowels as in the words pat, pet, and pit: these develop a glide up from their original starting position to [j], and then back down to schwa. This is the feature often called the "Southern drawl".

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5. The English of the Deep South is historically non-rhotic: it drops the sound of final /r/ before a consonant or a word boundary, so that guard sounds similar to god and sore like saw. Epenthetic /r/, where an /r/ sound is inserted between two vowel sounds ("lawr and order") is not a feature of coastal SAE. The more northern or Appalachian varieties of SAE are rhotic. Non-rhoticity is rapidly disappearing from almost all Southern accents, to a greater degree than it has been lost in the other traditionally non-rhotic dialects of the East Coast such as New York and Boston. 6. The distinction between the vowels sounds of words like caught and cot or talk and tock is mainly preserved. In much of the Deep South, the vowel found in words like talk and caught has developed into a diphthong, so that it sounds like the diphthong used in the word loud in the Northern United States. 7. For many Southern speakers, some nouns are stressed on the first syllable that would be stressed on the second syllable in other accents. These include pólice, cément, and béhind.

Word use1. Use of double modals ("might could", "might should", "might would", etc.) 2. Use of "y'all" as the second person plural pronoun (less commonly "you-all") 3. Use of "fixin' to" as an indicator of immediate future action 4. Use of the word "done" in place of "already" or "did", such as in "We done did

this" (We already did this). 5. Use of "over yonder" in place of "over there" or "in or at that indicated place,"

especially when being used to refer to a particularly different spot, such as in "the house over yonder"

6.Word use tendencies from the Harvard Dialect Survey ( - A carbonated beverage in general as "coke" (likely influenced by The Coca-Cola Company being headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and the resultant dominance of Coca-Cola in the region). - The small land crustaceans that roll when you touch them as "roley-poleys" rather than "pill bugs" or "woodlouse" - The push-cart at the grocery store as a "buggy" - The small freshwater crustacean in lakes and streams as a "crawdad," "crawfish," or "crayfish" depending on the location

Features of Southern American EnglishThere are a number of phonetic/phonological features of Southern American

English, including the following:a. Southern Vowel Shift b. /z/ -> [d] in Contractions c. /E/ -> /I/ before Nasals d. Post-Coronal Glides e. Vowel Lowering f. Monophthongization g. R-lessness

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h. The Central Diphthong Morphosyntactic features of Southern American English include the following:

Double Modals The fixin' to Construction

There are also quite a few lexical distinctions that distinguish Southern American English from other varieties, including:/z/ vs. /s/ in greasy

III. English Usage in the UK and USA

Between British English and American English there are numerous differences in the areas of vocabulary, spelling, and phonology. This article compares the forms of British and American speech normally studied by foreigners: the former includes the accent known as Received Pronunciation, or RP; the latter uses Midland American English, which is normally perceived to be the least marked American dialect. Actual speech by educated British and American speakers is more varied, and that of uneducated speakers still more. Grammatical and lexical differences between British and American English are, for the most part, common to all dialects, but there are many regional differences in pronunciation, vocabulary, usage and slang, some subtle, some glaring, some rendering a sentence incomprehensible to a speaker of another variant.

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American and British English both diverged from a common ancestor, and the evolution of each language is tied to social and cultural factors in each land. Cultural factors can affect one's understanding and enjoyment of language; consider the effect that slang and double entendre have on humour. A joke is simply not funny if the pun upon which it is based can't be understood because the word, expression or cultural icon upon which it is based does not exist in one's variant of English. But it is not only humour that is affected. Items of cultural relevance change the way English is expressed locally. A person can say "I was late, so I Akii-Bua'd (from John Akii-Bua, Ugandan hurdler) and be understood all over East Africa, but receive blank stares in Australia. Even if the meaning is guessed from context, the nuance is not grasped; there is no resonance of understanding. English is a flexible and quickly-evolving language; it simply absorbs and includes words and expressions for which there is no current English equivalent; these become part of the regional English. American English has hundreds of loan words acquired from its immigrants: these can eventually find their way into widespread use, (spaghetti, mañana), or they can be restricted to the areas in which immigrant populations live. So there can be variances between the English spoken in New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco. Thanks to Asian immigration, a working-class Londoner asks for a cuppa cha and receives the tea he requested. This would probably be understood in Kampala and New Delhi as well, but not necessarily in Boise, Idaho. Cultural exchange also has an impact on language. For example, it is possible to see a certain amount of Americanization in the British English of the last 50 years. This influence is not entirely one-directional, though, as, for instance, the previously British English 'flat' for 'apartment' has gained in usage among American twenty-somethings. Similarly the American pronunciation of 'aunt' has changed during the last two decades, and it is considered classier to pronounce 'aunt' in the Commonwealth manner, even for speakers who continue to rhyme 'can't' and 'shan't' with 'ant'. Australian English is based on the language of the Commonwealth, but has also blended indigenous, immigrant and American imports. Applying these same phenomena to the rest of the English-speaking world, it becomes clear that though the "official" differences between Commonwealth and American English can be more or less delineated, the English language can still vary greatly from place to place.


British    American   abseil rappel aeroplane (ãirəp-) airplane (ãirp-) anticlockwise counterclockwise

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aubergine egg plant autumn fall, autumn barman, barmaid bartender barrister [courtroom representation]


beetroot beet behove behoove bill [invoice] bill, check biscuit cookie bonnet [of a car] hood boot [of a car] trunk braces [attached to trousers]


brackets (round brackets; but called parentheses in the printing and publishing trades)


break [school] recess caravan traile car-park parking lot chemist drugstore chips (chipped potatoes) fries, French friescinema movie theater claret Bordeaux (wine) cockerel, cock rooster coffin coffin, casket [death] cool-box cooler cornflour cornstarch cotton [sewing], thread thread courgette zucchini crisps (potato crisps) chips (potato chips) crossroads, junction intersection curriculum vitae (CV) résumé curtains drapes, draperies, curtains dishcloth, tea towel dishcloth, dishrag draughts [board game] checkers drawing room [mostly obsolete: class connotations], sitting room, living room

living room

driving licence driver's license

dual carriageway divided highway, freeway, Interstate

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dumb mute dustbin trash can, garbage can

dustman garbage collector, garbageman

eiderdown comforter estate agent real estate agent, realtor estate car, estate wagon station wagon film movie fire engine fire truck flat flat, apartmentfortnight, two weeks two weeks fortnightly bi-weekly football (Association football), soccer


foyer lobby full stop period gammon ham, smoked ham, bacon garden yard give way [road sign] yield grill broil guard’s van caboose High Street Main Street hire rent hock Rhine wine (white) holiday vacation hoover, vacuum, vacuum cleaner

vacuum cleaner

icebox, freezer freezer imperial (measurement system)

English, US Common

ironmonger, ironmongery hardware dealer, hardware store, hardware

knickers panties lift elevator lend loan (as a verb) lorry truck main subject [in education]


maize corn [one type] make redundant lay off marrow squash maths math

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motorway Interstate, divided highway, freeway

mud guard fender [of a bike] nappy diaper note [cash] bill nought, zero cipher, zero noughts and crosses tic-tac-toe off-licence liquor store pants, underpants underwear, underpants pavement sidewalk petrol(eum) gasoline, gas

plaster, sticking plaster Band-Aid™, adhesive bandage

primary school elementary school queue, queue up stand in line, wait in line railway railroad, railway rise [pay] raise road road, pavement rubber eraser rubbish trash, garbage rug blanket sacked fired saloon [car] sedan silencer [car] muffler skip dumpster solicitor [mainly deskwork; cf barrister]


spanner wrench subsidiary subject, secondary subject [in education]


subway pedestrian tunnel

swede, turnip [vegetable] turnip, rutabaga [depending on region]

sweets candy sweetshop candy store tap [water] tap, faucet tarmac(adam) tar tea [sometimes] supper, dinner

tick check [verb], checkmark [noun]

tiffin lunch, luncheon timber lumber

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tin can tomato sauce, ketchup ketchup torch [with a battery] flashlight trainers sneakers treacle molasses trousers trousers, pants underground (railway) subway vest undershirt waistcoat vest wallet pocket-book windscreen windshield wing fender [of a car] wood louse pill bug year, form [school] gradezed zee


The expression 'I guess', meaning 'I think', common in American English, is not used in British English.

In British, one goes 'to hospital' or 'to university'; in American, one goes 'to the hospital' or 'to the university'. However, one goes 'to college' in both.

American English generally prefers the singular for collective nouns: 'the government is considering' where British has 'the government are...' Thus, while 'the United States is topping the medals table', 'England are losing another Test Match'.

Toss and flip: in British English, one tosses a coin, but in American, it is usually flipped.

In British, an ass (rarely used nowadays) is a donkey or a fool; in American it is used instead of 'arse'.

In British, mad means crazy; in American angry. In British, to wash up, or to do the washing up, is to do the dishes; in American

however it is to wash oneself, where British English would say to wash one's face or have a wash.

What Americans call public schools are in Britain 'state schools', because 'public school' is the British term for a non-profit-making independent school, of which Eton is the most famous example.

'Uptown' and 'downtown' are not widely used outside America. In British English, the former is rendered variously as 'in the suburbs' or 'on the outskirts', 'suburban' or 'residential', whichever is most appropriate. 'Down town' (two words) means to or in the city or town centre.

American English usually omits the 'and' in numerals: 'two thousand eight', where BrE has 'two thousand and eight'.

British English has 'UK' and 'US', American English 'U.S.' and 'U.K.'

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A frying-pan can also be called a fry-pan or a skillet in American English. In British, 'sport' is used as an uncountable noun where Americans talk of 'sports'. In British, the 'first floor' is the first floor up, that is, above the ground floor,

which is at street level. In American 'ground floor' may occasionally be used that way, but is more often figurative ('I got in on the ground floor', that is, at the beginning); it is the first floor that is at street level.

British English introduces a motion by tabling it; American postpones discussion by tabling it (that is, shelving it).

In British, 'bacteria' are plural (of 'bacterium'); in American, 'bacterias'... Anymore' can be one word in American, and mean 'nowadays', even with a

positive verb, in some varieties of AmE. The situation regarding the use of 'trapezium' and 'trapezoid', whether referring to

geometrical shapes or to bones, is complicated, and may be a question of idiolect


There are a number of spelling differences, some systemic (most notably in suffixes), and others in individual words.

Suffixes The most striking differences between the spelling of American English and British English are in these suffixes. (The accents, which are not used in English, show stress and pronunciation: see English spellings for a table and English phonemes for a comparison with the International Phonetic Alphabet.)

British - American -

-ence defénce -ense defénse

lîcence noun lîcense

offénce offénse

-l + l + suffix

dîalling -l + suffix dîaling

trávelled tráveled

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màrvellous màrvelous

-l fulfíl -ll fulfíll

enrôl enrôll

instål inståll

instíl instíll

-ógue cátalogue -óg cátalog

dîalogue dîalog

-our clámour -or clámor

còlour còlor

fâvour fâvor

flâvour flâvor

hàrbour hàrbor

hónour hónor

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lâbour lâbor

ráncour ráncor

(Many words, however, have -or in both: dóctor, asséssor, sqùalor.)

-p + suffix

kídnápping -pp + suffix


wörshípped wörshíped

-re céntre -er cénter

mêtre length mêter all

manoeûvre maneûver (also minus the o)

ôchre (ch as /k/)

ôcher (ch as /k/)

scéptre scépter

thêatre thêater

(But in both: mêter machine; eûchre *yûker)

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-tt + suffix

carburétted -t + suffix carburéted

-ise and -ize Spellings with - ise are common in British English, but -ize has been for centuries the standard spelling of Oxford University Press (in contrast to Cambridge UP which uses either form at the option of the author) and there is some evidence to suggest that the -ise variant predominated in the UK only after 1945; thus, a spelling such as rêalize is not a good example of an 'American' spelling. The typical 'British' spelling reflects the French spelling from which these words were borrowed, though many originally came from Greek -ιζειν (-izein, with a zeta) via Latin. Some words, such as ádvertise, can supposedly only be spelt with -s- regardless of which side of the Atlantic they are used; however, spellings such as ádvertize are readily found nowadays.

ae and oe become e In Latin and Greek words where British has ae or oe, American English usually has a solitary e: aesthétic is esthétic and foêtus fêtus.

Other spellings

Other individual spelling variations are:

British American

ádze ádz

alumínium (-yəm) alûminum

ánalyse ánalyze

áxe áx

behôve behoôve

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chéque money chéck all meanings

chéquered chéckered

connéxion, connéction connéction only (cf. compléxion in both)

côsy côzy


defénse, dêfense (the latter pronunciation is for sport only, but always the different spelling)

diaéresis (both *dî-érisis) diéresis

dispatch, despatch dispatch only

dràught cold, net, liquids, game, horse

dráft all meanings

ër üh

fíllet fílet

furŏrê fûrŏr

grèy grây

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jeŵellery jeŵelry

júdgement, júdgment júdgment only

kílomêtre kilómeter

largésse only largésse, largéss *larzhéss

môuld môld

moustàche mústáche

múm mother móm

ómelette ómelet

páralyse páralyze

paêdo- pédo-

plòugh plòw

práctíse verb (British English noun is práctíce)

práctíce: American English uses only práctíce, reflecting the pronunciation (not -îze/-îse).

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prôgramme arts prógram

pyjàmas pajàmas

refléxion, refléction refléction only (cf. compléxion in both)

roûble rûble

scéptical sképtical

skílful skíllful

súlphur, súlphate, súlphide súlfur, súlfate, súlfide

tŷre car tîre car, tired

wílful wíllful


The pronunciations discussed here are standard British (also called Received Pronunciation), which is associated with London and the Home Counties, and General American, heard in much of the United States and Canada.

Postvocalic r Most strikingly, ‘postvocalic’ r, that is to say r after a vowel and in the same syllable, is silent in British English (thus merely marking the tense vowel, e.g. càrd, *càd, versus cád) but is pronounced in American English, in words like fàrm, càrve, cürve, swërve, fïrst, nŏrth, cŏrd, bïrth, ëarth. For some speakers of both, it is heard finally before a vowel in the next word: Mŷ càr ísn't réady (*rízzent) and even an

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invisible 'r' can be heard: relâtions betwêen Chîna(r)and Rússia; this however is less common in British English than it used to be. In American English an r between two vowels can have an effect on the first vowel: márry can sound to British ears like Mãry; the e in véry can sound like a stressed schwa. British English has -ór- before a vowel but American English always has -ŏr-: British English órifice, órigin, fóreign, American English ŏrifice, ŏrigin, fŏreign. So móral can in American English sound to British ears like *mŏrrl. British English úr is American English ür: British English coúrage, cúrrency American English coürage, cürrency, and British English òr is similarly altered: British English wòrry, American wörry.

à versus á British English à is very often in American English a long á: cán’t, lást, fást, hálf, ráther, láther. But not in fàther, Coloràdo, Chicàgo (Sh-), pajàmas (British English pyjàmas) nor before r: fàrm, stàrve nor before -lm: càlm, pàlm, bàlm. And in some place names where British English has á, à is preferred by many Americans: one hears Milàn, Vietnàm, Ugànda, Srì Lànka and Ànkara, where BrE has Milán, etc.

-ary, -ory and -ony The suffix -ary has a silent a in traditional British English, but in American English it sounds like an é: díctionãry, vocábulãry (*dícshənéry, vəcábyəléry). Indeed, featuring as it does in so much in pop music, the American English sound has become increasingly common in British English. (A similar example is Rôsemary, pronounced with a schwa a in BrE, but as if two words, Rôse Mãry, in American.) This is also the sound of both varieties in the equivalent adverbs: necessãrily (*néssəssérily). Similarly in British English labóratory American English láboratŏry one o is stressed, rendering the other redundant: British English *labóratry, American English *lábratŏry. Similarly American cátegŏry, perémptŏry, stâtionéry and mónastéry; and also céremôny, álimôny and ácrimôny where British English has silence or schwa for o or e. However, both varieties have a schwa or no sound for the a when the preceding syllable is the stressed one: suppleméntary (*súpləméntəry), compliméntary (*compləméntəry), but there is a difference where there is an o: AmE perémptŏry, BrE *perémptəry.

Differing e sound British lêver is American léver; also in inflected forms: lêverage/léverage. Similarly, evolûtion, ecológical, equiláteral, methane and pederasty have é- in American, ê- in British.

Short o The [ɒ] (ó) vowel in British English hót does not exist for the vast majority of American English speakers, as it developed following the establishment of colonies in the New World (Australians do use it, since Australia was colonised later). American English may employ a variety of vowels in this position, depending on the phonological context and

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the speaker's regional background - [ɔ], [ɑ] or others in roughly the same area of the mouth, low and towards the back. They also make distinctions through the use of r, which for British English speakers are homophonous: cŏurt and cåught both use [ɔː], whereas American English speakers pronounce the r in the former: [kɔɹt] and [kɔt], for example. So also, American hót sounds like British heàrt, American póssible like British pàssable.

Short u and its o grapheme The [ʌ] (ú) vowel in British English hút does not exist in American English: a stressed schwa is used instead, as it is also when the spelling is o, as in òther.

wh- In words beginning wh- (apart from who, which is pronounced *hoô in both varieties) the h is ignored in British English but sounded before the w in American English, so that whén and whístle are pronounced *hwén and *hwíssle.

-ile The suffix -île in British English is usually schwa in American English so that vólatîle is pronounced *vólatle, stérîle *stérral, frágîle *frájle and míssîle projectile *míssle, exactly like míssal prayers.

-duce The suffix -dûce, as in redûce, indûce, prodûce verb and próduce noun is -dyoôss or -joôss in British English but can also be -doôss in American English.

-age In three words from French with the suffix -age, where British English has an anglicised version, American English prefers to keep the French model, so á in the first syllable cedes its stress to the suffix (this is not to be confused with the cockney pronunciation of, for example, gárage as *garridge):

British American

bárràge (-àzh) barràge (*bəràzh)

gáràge (-àzh) garàge (*gəràzh)

mássàge (-àzh) massàge (*məssàzh)

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-t- and -d- between vowels In American English -t- and -d- between vowels, of which the first vowel is stressed, are voiced and sound like -d-, though actually the sound is a [ɾ] (a 'tap' or 'flap', i.e. a very rapid contact just behind the top front teeth): lâter *lâ[ɾ]er, bútter *bú[ɾ]er, líttle *lí[ɾ]le, shoôting *shoô[ɾ]ing; British English speakers keep these as -t- or -d-. In American English twénty, the -t- blends with the -n- and disappears altogether. The 'flap' often appears as the Scottish English pronunciation of /r/. British English speakers often partially or completely 'glottalise' -t- where American English speakers produce a flap. This glottal stop [ʔ] is common in London English, for example: *bú[ʔ]er for bútter. It also often replaces /t/ at the end of a syllable: *ca[ʔ] for cát. The glottal stop, which is formed by the vocal cords briefly coming together to restrict airflow, is not a phoneme of English and so speakers will usually identify it as a variant of -t-.

-euse This ending has two pronunciations in American English: in words such as American English 'masseûse, the final e can also be sounded: chanteûsê. British English has only the French-style massëuse, rhyming with the masculine plural form massëurs.

-ative When preceded by an unstressed syllable, this ending has a secondary stress on the â in American, which is schwa in British, so American authŏritâtive is British authóritative, with a schwa, -tət-, and likewise British méditative is American méditâtive.

-rsion Words with this ending, such as vërsion and excürsion, have the 'sh' sound in British and the 'zh' sound in American.

Other pronunciations This table lists further examples of pronunciation differences. See the spelling section above for a table of items, such as kílomêtre/kilómeter, that are also spelt differently. The equals sign, =, means that the following word has the same pronunciation.

British American

accòmplice accómplice

accòmplish accómplish

addréss áddress

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ádult adúlt

advërtísement ádvertîsement (cf. ádvertise in both)

aesthétic (ís-) aesthétic, esthétic (és-)

Ál-Qàêda (-Kŷda, or stress on ê) Ál-Qâeda

ámateur (eur as schwa: *ámətə) ámateur also; or various more phonetic variants, typically ámateûr (*ámatyûer)

ámbergrìs ámbergrís

amén (àh-) amén (ây-)

amênity amênity or aménity

ántì- ántî-

ápparâtus apparátus

áristocrat arístocrat

ásthma (*ássma) *ázma

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àunt áunt uncle (= ánt insect)

authóritative authŏritâtive

ávalànche (-lànsh) ávalánche

Baghdád Bághdad

báton batón

Bërnard Bernàrd (though not always)

bêta bèta

Bïrmíngham (-íngəm) Bïrmínghám (-íng-hám)

bòrough (*búrə) börôugh town (= AmE bürrow ground)

càdre (-der) càdrè

cándidate (-ət) cándidâte

capíllary (kəp-) cápillãry

Caribbêan (*Cárri-bêən) Caríbbêan (*Cər-íbbêən)

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Cécil (*Séssle) Cêcil (*Sêazle)

cérebral cerêbral

chágrín (sh-) chagrìn (*shəgrêen)

chámois (*shámwà) chámois (*shámmy)

charàde (sh-) charâde (sh-)

cigarétte cígarette

clìchè *clêeshây (in both, the French accent may be written: cliché)

clichè *clishây, where the American is closer to the French

cómplex compléx (adjective: noun is as British)

cómbatant combátant

cómrâde cómráde

córrugate cörrugate

coyôtê *kŷôat

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dâta dáta

Dâvíes (= Dâvis) Dâvìês (-êez)

débris (*débrêe or dâybrêe) *dəbrêe; the French accent may be written: débris

dépôt (*déppo) dêpôt (*dêepo)

derby (à) dërby

detérrence, -nt detërrence, -nt

dôcîle dócile (*dóssle)

dýnasty dŷnasty

Edinburgh (-brə) (-bórô)

eîther êither

entreprenëur entrepreneûr (both ón-)

êra éra (= British English érror)

erâse (-z) erâse (-s)

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ërr érr (= American English ãir)

évidently evidéntly

explêtive éxpletive

fâkír *fəkír

fålcon fálcon

fígure (*fígə) can be *fígyùr

fíllet rhymes with bíllet, t pronounced

*filây (after French)

gàla gâla

génuíne génuîne

gêyser water (= gêezer man) geŷser

grimâce grímace

hárass haráss

hegémony (híg-) hégemôny (héj-)

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hërb *ërb

hygiênic hygiénic (both ŷ)

húrricane (a as schwa: -kən) hürricâne

ídyll idyllic îdyll (= îdle lazy = îdol god)

improvisâtion (o as schwa, -əvî-) improvisâtion (-óví-)

inquîry = enquîry ínquiry = enquiry (*ínkwəry)

îron (*îən) *îrən or *îərn

jágûar (*jágyûə) jáguàr (*jágwàr)

Kósovo Kôsovo

labóratory láboratŏry

Lébanon (-ən) Lébanón

léisure lêisure

lieuténant (léft-) (lût-)

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massëuse (based on French) masseûse

Maurice (= Mórris) Maurìce (*Mərêece, French-style)

mãyor town (= mãre horse) mâyor

médicine (*médsən) *médísən

mêthane méthane

moôg *môag *môgue (can be capital M in both)

Móscôw can be Móscòw

múltì- múltî-

Mùslim Múslim

nåusea (-zìə) (-shə)

neîther nêither

nónchalant (ch as sh) *nonshalàn

óccult occúlt

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offénce óffense (sport only, but always)

páprika paprìka

partisán (-zán) pàrtisan (-zən)

pâtent pátent

pátronize, -ise pâtronize, -ise

penchant (*pànshàn) pénchant

përfume perfûme

prêdecessor prédecessor

prémier government premìêr (= premìêre)

prémiére performance premìêre (= premìêr)

prívacy prîvacy (but prîvate in both)

prôcess prócess

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prôgress noun prógress noun: progréss verb in both

Pûerto Rìco (Pŏr-) Puérto Rìco (Pwãir-)

qùadruplet (second u as schwa) quadrûplet (similarly with quínt- etc.)

râbid rábid

récŏrd noun (rhyming with cŏrd)

récord (o as schwa: -kərd)

renâissànce rénaissànce

resëarch rêsëarch

resŏurce rêsource

réspîte réspíte

rodèo rôdêo

roûte journey (= roôt plant) ròute (= ròut victory)

sálon salón

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sándwich (-ídge) (-ích)

scenàrio scenãrio, scenário

schédule (shé-) (ské-)

simultâneous (sí-) (sî-)

spínach (-ídge) (-ích)

stâtus státus

stràta strâta (= British English strâighter)

stràtum strâtum

thòrough (*thúrə) thörôugh (*thürrôw)

tomàto tomâto (cf. potâto in both, ‘potàto’ being an invention of Cole Porter)

tŏurnament toürnament

tŏurniquet (-nikây) toürniquet (-nikít)

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ván Gógh (*Góff = Góugh) ván Gôgh (= gô come)

vàse (*vàhz) vâse (*vâce, rhyming with báse, or *vâze, rhyming with hâze)

vërmouth vermoûth

vërsion (-sh-) vërsion (-zh-)

vítamin vîtamin

wåltz (-lss) wåltz as spelt

yógurt yôgurt

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IV. One Meaning - Two Words

Definition UK Word USA Word

11th June 1998 11/06/98 06/11/98

the dot at the end of a sentence full stop period

unit of paper currency note bill

mathematics maths math

the season after summer autumn fall

day when offices are closed bank holiday legal holiday

small pointed thing used to pin papers onto walls drawing pin thumb tack

mark made when something is correct or selected tick check

the name of the final letter of the alphabet zed zee

angry pissed off pissed

Definition UK Word USA Word

third piece of a male's suit that goes betweenthe jacket and the shirt

waist coat vest

what women wear over their legs tights (panty) hose

what men wear over their legs trousers pants

a type of soft shoe used in sports or for casual weartrainers,plimsolls


strap to hold up a man's trousers / pants braces suspenders

item to hold up stockings suspenders garters

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item of clothing worn in house at nightdressing gown


a thin cloth from Arabia muslin cheesecloth

large bag carried by females hand bag purse

container carried by females for money purse pocket book

what you put in a baby's mouth dummy pacifier

what you put around a baby's bottom nappy diaper

Definition UK Word USA Word

the area next to a street where pedestrians walk pavement sidewalk

place to cross a street on footpedestrian crossing


place from where goods are bought shop store

place from where medicines are bought chemist drug store

payment in a restaurant bill check

place where alcoholic drinks are bought off licence liquor store

shop / store selling metal goods and tools ironmongerhardware store

the business part of a city town centre downtown

law enforcement officer copper cop

what there was before email post mail

code used when sorting mail / post postcode zip code

telephone call where the person called paysreverse charge

collect call

free telephone call paid by company free phone toll free

company on the WWW .com

Definition UK Word USA Word

four wheeled private vehicle car automobile

front of a car / automobile bonnet hood

rear compartment of a car / automobile boot trunk

metal plate with number on a vehicle number plate license plate

long piece of metal used for radio reception aerial antenna

metal tool for tightening nuts and bolts spanner wrench

glass in front of a car windscreen windshield

metal over the wheel to keep mud offmud guard(wing)


multi-lane road for cars motorway freeway

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road passing over another flyover overpass

heavy goods vehicle lorry truck

fuel for vehicles petrol gasoline

place to buy fuel petrol station gas station

area to stop off a major road lay-by pull-off

metal container in street for unwanted items skip dumpster

ticket for one journey single one way

ticket for two journeys: out and back return round trip

type of transport run on metal rails railway railroad

a beam supporting railway / railroad tracks sleeper tie

Definition UK Word USA Word

what you eat with milk, tea or coffee biscuit cookie

what you put on bread jam jelly

a gelatinous dessert jelly jell-O

crunchy thin-sliced fried potatoes crisps chips

fried stick-shaped potatoes chips french fries

a large vessel for juice or water jug pitcher

sweet things given to children to rot their teeth sweets candy

rolled up cake with jam / jelly in the middle Swiss roll jelly roll

a sugary liquid like honey treacle molasses

flavoured ice on a stick lolly popsicle

soft long green vegetable marrow squash

meat passed through a device that breaks it up into little pieces

mince ground meat

cereal made from oats, sugar and milk porridge oatmeal

Swiss cereal made from oats muesli granola

fluffy sweet item for children candy floss cotton candy

Definition UK Word USA Word

arthropod with six legs insect bug

red insect / bug with black spots ladybird ladybug

dwelling in a large building flat apartment

device for obtaining water tap faucet

container for household waste rubbish bin trash can

portable battery-operated light source torch flashlight

the floor of a building that is level with the ground ground floor first floor

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the floor of a building that is one level above the ground first floor second floor

device for carrying people between floors of a building lift elevator

place where films / movies can be seen cinemamovie theater

a type of house connected to one othersemi-detached house


Definition UK Word USA Word

a self contained section of television programme show

game played on chess board draughts checkers

contest between two teams match game

game played by two teams with bats and balls cricket baseball

player who throws a ball at another playerholding a bat

bowler pitcher

bar on a pivot for children see-saw teeter-totter

simple game of O and Xnoughts andcrosses

tic tac toe

a collection of playing cards pack deck

a portable telephone mobile cellular, cell

a group of people waiting for their turn queue line

the dates of the Second World War 1939 - 1945 1941 - 1945

One Word - Two MeaningsWord UK Usage USA Usage

Asianperson of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi origin

person of Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Philippino origin

ass a donkey human posterior

bathroom a room containing a bath or shower a room containing a toilet

bill amount to pay for a service a piece of paper currency

bomb success disaster

buns sticky cake human posterior

bum human posterior unemployed, down-and-out

CaucasianPerson from the Caucus republics: Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan

white person

chips What Americans call "French fries" What the British call "crisps"

fag cigarette male homosexual

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fanny external female sex organs human posterior

football soccer gridiron

hamper picnic basket full of food basket for dirty clothes

homely pleasant ugly

Indian person from the Indian sub-continent indigenous American

jelly gelatinous dessert fruit preserve

knickersworn under trousers or dress by women

trousers that end between the knee and ankle

mad not sane angry

mean stingy aggressive

momentarily for a short while soon

pants worn under trousers worn over underwear

pissed drunk angry

presently soon now

public school fee-paying school state school

queen the head of state male homosexual

rubber implement to erase pencil marks male contraceptive

semi semi-detached house tractor-trailer

smart well dressed clever

spunk slang for male sexual emission full of "get up and go"

suspenders hold up stockings hold up trousers / pants

tea drink served hot with milk drink served cold with lemon

thong casual footwear item female underwear

tramp unemployed, down-and-outderogatory term for a female of"easy virtue"

vest a garment worn under a shirtthe third part of a three piecesuit worn between the shirt and jacket

wash up wash dishes after a meal wash face and hands

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1. Aitchison, J. (1981). Language Change: Progress or Decay? London: Fontana.2. Baugh, A.C. (1978, 3rd Edition). A History of the English Language. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.3. Cheshire, J. (1991). English around the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.4. Crewe, W.J. (1979). Singapore English and Standard English. Singapore: Eastern Universities Press. 5. Hughes, A. & Trudgill, P. (1987). English Accents and Dialects: an introduction to Social and Regional Varieties of British English. 2nd edition. Edward Arnold, London6. Krapp, George P. (1925). The English Language in America. Ungar: New York.7. Kurath, Hans, and Raven I. McDavid. (1961). The Pronunciation of English in the Atlantic States. University of Michigan Press:Ann Arbor.8. Labov, William. (1972). Language in the Inner City: Studies in the Black English Vernacular. Univerisity of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia.9. Mencken, H.L. (1947,4th ed.). The American language: an Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States. New York : Knopf.10. Platt, J., Weber, H., & Ho, M. (1984). The New Englishes. London: Routledge, Kegan Paul.11. Ramson, William S.(1989). Regionalism in Australian English: The value of newspaper evidence. Australian Journal of Linguistics, 9/1, June 1989, 73-83.12. Sivertsen, I. (1960). Cockney Phonology. Oslo University Press.13. Smitherman, Geneva. (1977). Talkin and Testifyin: the Language of Black America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 14. Taylor, William C. (1997). "Rule Ordering in the Phonology of Alabama-Georgia Consonants." In Language Variety in the South Revisited, ed. by Cynthia Bernstein, Thomas Nunnally, and Robin Sabino. University of Alabama Press:Tuscaloosa and London.

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15. Tresidder, Argus. (1943). "The Sounds of Virginia Speech." American Speech 18:261-272.16. Troike, Rudolph C. (1986). "McDavid's Law." Journal of English Linguistics 19: 2.17. Trudgill, P. (1999). The Dialects of England. Blackwell, 2nd edition.18. Wells, J.C. (1982).(a) Accents of English 1. An Introduction. Cambridge University Press19. Wells, J.C. (1982).(b) Accents of English 2. The British Isles. Cambridge University Press20. Wolfram, Walt and Natalie Schilling-Estes. (1998). American English: Dialects and Variation. Blackwell: Malden, Massachusetts


I. Write short essays on the followings:

1. Is “British English” also “Standard English”?2. In about 350 words enlarge upon the following: Varieties of Canadian English.3. Comment on: English as a Global Language4. Is “American English” also “Standard English”?5. In about 350 words answer the following question: What is Cockney English?6. Argue for and against the following question: Is R P E a British or an American

accent?7. Analyze the Words Borrowed from Other Languages

II. Answer to the followings:1. What are the participants and the stages involved in an act of communication by

means of language?

2. Compare the following English semantic units with their nearest Romanian equivalents. Is semantic encoding done identically in the two languages? Give further examples from the language you know.

a) English: ocean, sea, lake, pond, pool, brook, riverRom.: ocean, mare, lac, helesteu, bazin, balta, parau, rau, fluviu

b) English: hand, armRom. Palma, mana, brat

c) English: wood, forest, grove, bushRom.: padure, codru, crang, tufis

3. What does grammatical encoding consist of?4. Given these three words: cat, catch, mouse, as the basic semantic units, illustrate

several possible ways of combining them into actual English utterance.

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5. By what means an a message be transmitted following its semantic and grammatical encoding?

6. What does a speaker turn into sound?7. Give the phonological encoding of the following longest English word

antidisestablishmentarianism starting from the basic unit of formation (establish) and adding the successive bound morphemes.

8. What are the two types of structure exhibited by phonological encoding?9. Speak about system in phonological encoding.10. What would the disappearance of the difference between two units mean?11. What exactly in meant by the “double articulation” of language?12. Give the ways in which the secondary level of articulation can be analysed.13. Define articulatory phonetics.14. What do we mean by the production of speech sounds?15. Give the names of the speech organs.16. Define acoustic phonetics.17. What other science is involved in the acoustic study of sounds?18. What kind of analysis does acoustic phonetics presuppose?19. Define auditory phonetics.20. How are the sounds perceived by a hearer?21. Match the following definitions with the terms thus defined: a) articulator; b)

fricative; c) manner of articulation; d) glottis.1. The way in which the air-stream is released2. The opening between the vocal cords3. A speech sound produced by narrowing the passage of the air-stream which is

thus accompanied by audible friction4. A movable speech organ which occupies a certain position against another

speech organ for the articulation of a given sound.22. Give the articulators and the points of articulation for the following English

sounds: /p/, /m/, /w/, /k/.Give the manner of articulation for the following English sounds: /ŋ/, /h/, /l/, /r/, /t/, /g/, /j/

23. What does auditory phonetics deal with?24. What does perception refer to?25. What does interpretation mean in point of auditory phonetics?26. If acoustics deals with various aspects of amplitude and frequency as far as pure

tones are concerned , and with various aspects of amplitude and combinations of frequencies as far as complex tones are concerned, what will be the data to be processed in the ear.

27. Where is physiological audition performed? 28. Into how many parts can the ear be divided?29. Describe the outer ear.30. Describe the middle ear.31. Describe the inner ear. 32. If one takes the tympanum to be a transmitter, how can the middle and the inner

ears be referred to?33. Describe the mechanism of audition.

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34. Describe the psychological interpretation of sound sensations.35. What functions does the auditory apparatus perform?36. What is the part played by a hearer’s knowledge of the language in the decoding

process?37. On the basis of the functions of the auditory apparatus, which is the more

important of these functions?38. How does noise affect the process of audition?39. What is the “pattern” recognition?40. Describe the three types of variation in speech.41. What do we mean by sameness when we speak of speech sounds?42. What is the invariant quality of the sounds /p/ and /b/ represented by?43. What part of the study of the sounds of a language does the study of the physical

properties belong to? What about their study viewed from the angle of their function in the language?

44. What is a phoneme?45. What do we mean by the distribution o a phoneme?46. What is an allophone?47. Is the function of /t/ in: tin, knit, later and of /b/ in bin, nib, labour, that of

communicating different meanings?- Do the distribution and function of a sound help us to establish its status as a

phoneme? Do /b/, /t/, /s/, /w/, //, /d/, /k/, /p/ when distributed in the same environment (/-Іn/) acquire phonemic status by virtue of the fact that they form words with different meanings?

- Bin, tin, sin, win, thin, din, kin, pin are different words because of the existence of (the same/different/) phonemes distributed in a (similar/different) environment.

48. Divide pitches/pities; hitches/hippies; lecture/lector; Michie/mini; matches/mashes; and digest/divest; deject/defect; budget/buffet; ledger/leisure; ajar/afar into syllables.

49. /tr/ and /dr/ have also been treated as either a sequence of two phonemes or a single….

- Do /tr/ and /dr/ have a general distribution?- Divide nitrate and hydrate into syllables.- In nitrate/hydrate /tr/, /dr/ (do not belong/belong) to separate syllables.- What about nightrate, and handrail?50. Have diphtongs a general distribution?51. In the following minimal pairs is there a functional difference between a

diphthong and a vowel? Bea - bait; bee - beer; mouth - moth; cord – code; true – truer; bee – bear; mouth – myth; tea – toy.

52. The so-called week forms o the verbs in: I’m, he’s, it’s, that’ll, I’ve, we’d, she’s, etc, result from a different phonetic process. What is it?

53. Give several possible pronunciations of and in such phrases as: brad and butter, ham and eggs, Jack and Jill, etc.

54. Is there a difference in lexical and meaning between: a) he’s and b) he is, between a) we’d and b) we had, between a) she’d and b) she would?

55. What are the vowels which occur most frequently in unstressed syllables?

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56. Which of the following silent letters result from a) a distributional impossibility in English; which from b) assimilative processes; and which c) are anglicized pronunciations of borrowed words?

1.know 2.hors d’oeuvre3.psalter4.muscle5.knight6. fasten7.gnostic 8.write9.knob



57. Which of the words in the following list have the phoneme // in their pronunciation?






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58. In the following list discriminate between /s/ and /z/:

roserosesuse (noun)pistolfussythousandfalseexcavatehesitateexactexemplarpansyuse (verb)licensepiece



59. Vowels and diphtongs. Match the words in the following list to the correct pronunciation of the following groups of letters: a, ai, ar, ear, er, al, au, eir, ois, are, air, oir.

swearharebargeBerkleybadinagepearreservoirlarkwherecarePall MallpassagechairCharles




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60. The following poem tries to illustrate the difficulties in the study of English pronunciation encountered by any learner of English, difficulties which are due mainly to the discrepancies between spelling and pronunciation. Read the poem aloud. Look up the words in a pronouncing dictionary. Try to arrange these words in lists so as to indicate that there are, nevertheless, reading rules for the English language. a) English as she is spoke

Dearest creature in creation,Studying English Pronunciation,I will teach you in my verse:Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.

I will keep you, Susy, busy, - Make your head with hat grow dizzy;Tear in eye, your dress you’ll tear,So shall I ! Oh, hear my prayer:

Pray, console your loving poet,Make my coat look new, dear, sew it! Just compare heart, beard, and heard,Dies, diet; lord and word;Sword and Sward; retain and Britain, - ( Mind the latter, how it’s written),Made has not the sound of bade,Say – said, pay – paid; laid, but plaid.

Now I surely will not plague you,With such words as vague and ague;But be careful how you speak:Say break, steak – but bleak and streak,Previous, precious; fuchsia, via;Pipe, snipe, recipe and choir!Cloven, oven; how and low;Script receipt; shoe, poem, toe;Hear me say devoid of trickery,Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore;Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,Exiles, similes, reviles;

Wholly, holly; signal, signing;Themes, examining, combining;Scholar, vicar and cigar,Solar, mica, war and far.

From “desire”: desirable – admirable from “admire”,Lumber, plumber, bier and brier;Chatham, brougham; renown but known,Knowledge, done but gone and tone,

One, anemone: Balmora,Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;


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Gertrude, German, wind and mind;Scene, Melpone, mankind;Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,Reading, Reading, heathen, heather;

This phonetic labyrinthGives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth and plinth,Billet does not sount like ballet,Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet;

Blood and flood are not like food,Nor is mould like should and would;Banquet is not nearly parquet,Which is said to rhyme with “darky”.

Viscous, viscount: load and broad;Toward, to forward, to reward;And your pronunciation’s O.K.When you say correctlycroquet;

Rounded, wounded: grieve and sleeve,Friend and fiend; alive and live;Liberty, library; heave and heavenRachel, ache, moustache, slaven.

We say hallowed but allowed,People, leopard; towed but vowed.

Mark the difference moreover, Between mover, plover, Dover;Leeches, breeches; wise, precise;Chalice, but police and lice.

Camel, constable, unstable;Principle, disciple; label,Petal, penal, and canal;Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal,Suit, suite, ruin ; circuit, conduit,Rhyme with « Skirk it » and « Beyond it ».

But it is not hard to tellWhy it’s pall, mall, but Pall Mall. Muscle muscular; goal, iron;Timber, climber, bullion, lion;Worn and storm; chaise, chaos, chiarSenatar, spectator, mayor,Ivy, privy, famous, but clamour,And enamour rhyme with « hammer ».

Pussy, hussy and possess.Desert, dessert and address,Gold, wolf; countenance; lieutenantsHoist, in lieu of left pennants.


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River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb;Doll and roll and some and home.Stranger, front, wont; want, grand and grant, Shoes, goes does. Now first say finger,And then: singer, ginger, linger.

Real, zeal, mauve, gauze and gauge;Marriage, foliage, mirage, age.Query does not rhyme with very, Nor does fury sound like bury.

Dost, lost; post and doth, cloth, loth,Job, Job, blossom, oath.Though the difference seems little We say actual but victual, Seat, sweat, chaste, and caste.Leigh, eight and height.

Put, nut granite, but uniteRefer does not rhyme with deafer, Feoffor does and Zephyr, heifer.

Dull, bull: Geoffrey, George, ate, late,Mint, pint, senate and sedate,Scenic, Arabic, pacific;Science, conscience, scientific:Tour, but hour, and succour, four,Gas and alas and Arkansas;Sea, idea, guinea, area,Psalm, Maria, but malaria;Youth, south, Southern, cleanse and clean,Doctrine, turpentine, marine;

Compare alien with Italian,Dandelion with battalion, Sally with ally! Yea, ye,Eye, I aye, ay, whey, key, quay!Say aver, but ever, fever,Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.

Never guess – it is not safe;We say calves, valves! Half but Ralph!Heron, granary, canary,Crevice, and device; eerie and eyrie:Face, but preface, but efface,Phlegm, phlegmatic; ass, bass, glass;Large, but target; gin, give, verging.

Ought, out, joust, and scour, but scouring.Ear, but earn; and year and tear,Do not rhyme with “here’ but “ere”.Seven is right, but so is even;


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Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,Monkey, donkey, clerk and jerk,Asp, grasp, wasp; and cork and work.

Pronunciation – think of Psyhe!Is a paling stout and spikey?Won’t it make you lose your wits,Writing “groats’ and saying “grits”It’s a dark abyss or tunnel,Strewn with stones, like, rowlock, gunwale,Islington, and Isle of Wight,Housewife, verdict, and indict!

Don’t you think so, reader, rather,Saying lather, bather, father?Finally: which rhymes with “enough”?Though, through, plough, cough, hough, or tough?Hiccough has the sound of “cup” … My advice is … give it up!

b) Exercise: Do the same with the following shorter poem:

English By Dr. Richard N. Keogh

I take it you already knowOf tough and bough and cough and dough?Others may stumble, but not youOn hiccough, thorough, slough and through? Well done! And now you wish, perhaps To learn of less familiar traps?

Beware of heard, a dreadful wordThat looks like bread and sounds like bird.And dead: it’s said like bed, not bead:For goodness sake, don’t call it deed.Watch out for meat and great and threat,(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).A moth is not a moth in mother.Nor both in bother, broth in brother.

And here is not a match for there,Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,And then there’s dose and rose and lose – Just look them up – and goose and choose,And cork and work and card and ward,And font and front and word and sword.And do and go, then thwart and cart,Come, come I’ve hardly made a start.

A dreadful language? Why man aliveI’d learned to talk it when I was five,


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I hadn’t learned it at fifty-five.

61. The humor and fun of the following poem by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch is derived from the author’s highly individual use of spelling. Identify the wrongly spelled words and comment upon them. To what extent was the author entitled to use this deviant spelling?

The Harbor of Fowey(A poem about spelling)

By Arthur Quiller-Couch

O the harbour of Fowey But the wave mountain-high, Is a beautiful spot, And the violent storm, And it’s there ienjowey Do I risk them? Not Igh! To sail in a yot; But prefer ti sit worm

Or to race in a yacht With a book on my knees Round a mark or a buoy- By the library fireSuch a beautiful spacht While I list to the brees Is the harbor of Fuoy! Rising hire and hire.

When her anchor is weighed And so whether I weigh And the water she ploughs, Up the anchor or not, Upon neat lemoneighed I am happy each deigh O it’s then I caroughs; Inmy home or my yot;

And I take Watt’s hymnus Every care I resign And I sing them aloud Every comfort enjoy,When it’s homeward she skymns In this cottage of mign O’er the waters she ploud. By the Harbor of Foy

62. In the following excerpt from Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis, Jim Higgins writes “an anymous” letter to a Mr. Johns. He intends the letter to pass as having been written by an uneducated man and uses wrong spellings to that effect. Identify them and comment on the author’s use of this stylistical device.

Dear Mr. Johns, Dixon wrote, gripping his pencil like a bread-knife. This is just to let you no that I no what you are up to with young Marleen Richards, young Marleen is a desent girl and has got no tim for your sort. She is a desent girl and I wo`nt have you filling her head with a lot of art and music, she is to good for that, and I am going to mary her wich is more than your sort ever do. So just you keep of her, Mr. Johns this will be your only warning. This is just a friendly letter and I am not threatening you, but you just do as I say else me and some of my palls from the works will be up your way and we sha`nt be coming along just to say How do you can bet. So just you wach out and lay of young Marleen if you no whats good for you, yours fathfully, Joe Higgins.

63. How can the syllable be defined from the physiological point of view?

64. What shape has a syllable due to its physiological basis?


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65. What does the crest of the physiological syllable correspond to in speech?

66. Give the scale of sonority of the English sounds.

67. What are the articulatory features which determine the sonority of a sound?

68. Mention some definitions of the phonetic syllable.

69. Give the physiological basis of a stressed syllable.

70. What parts of the speech producing movements are linked with a chest pulse and a reinforced chest pulse ?

71. What is added to the movements producing speech for and articulated syllable to be produced ?

72. What corresponds to the number of a chest pulses in a spoken stretch and what corresponds to the reinforced chest pulses ?

73. On what does the rhythm of a certain language depend?

74. How can one divide the superimposed articulatory movements ?

75. What is a segment ?

76. How can the syllable be defined in phonological terms ?

77. How many segments can there be in a syllable ?

78. Give examples of syllables consisting of only one(central) segment.

79. Give examples of syllables made up of an initial and a central segment only.

80. Give examples of syllables made up of a central and a final segment only.

81. Give examples of syllables with segments in all possible positions.

82. How are syllables constructed from the point of view of the superimposed articularitory movements ?

83. Given err; are; eh, as monosyllabic words, consisting of the central segment only, try to give examples of English monosyllabic words built up so as to represent syllables 1) with the central and final segments 2) syllables with the central and initial segments, and 3) Syllables with all the three segments.

84. Give the names for the syllables with the following structures: 1) V, CV, 2) VC, CVC .

85. What syllabic structure is predominant in English, and what syllabic structure is predominant in Romanian as far as the third segment is concerned ?

86. How do structure and system apply to the formation o syllables ?


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87. Illustrate structure and system in monosyllabic words of the CVC type.

88. There are no English words beep, teep, geep, zeep, etc. corresponding to the existing ones: peep, deep, keep, seep, etc. However, if the need arose for a new English word, would any of them be permissible in the language?

89. What is the name we give to the groups of consonants in initial and final positions?

90. Give examples of initial clusters which cannot occur as final clusters.

91. Give examples of final clusters which cannot occur in initial positions.

92. Give the consonant clusters in: tax-free, undo, jumbo, friction, tea-tray, heat-ray, mouse-trap toe-strap.

93. What is the name of the consonants which are in a sequence but belong to different syllables?

94. Give the abutting consonants in: tea spoons, hemisphere, awkward, mistake, mispronounce, storm-bound, misspell, panic-stricken, Pangloss.

95. Read the following nonsense verse by Lewis Carroll and identify the possible “English” distribution of the consonants in clusters and of consonants and vowels and discuss the reason why spite of their Englishness some of the words (n, v, adj., adv), are not English words:

‘Twas brlillig and the slithy tovesDid gyre and gibmle in the wabeAll mimsy were the borogovesAnd the momeraths outgrabe….

96. Accent is felt differently by the speaker and the listener.a) how does the speaker feel accent ?b) How does the listener perceive accent?

97. What are the acoustic correlates of accent?

98. The varying factors contributing to the prominence of an accented syllable result in several distinguishable degrees of accent. What re they?

99. Give the different markings of the 4 types of accents in English.

100. Accent discharges its distinctive function in English in two ways. What are they?

101. Analyze the following words from the accentual point of view. Ascertain whether a change in their accentual pattern brings about a change in their grammatical function: affix, increase, abstract, import, accent, insult, contest, contrast, replay, inlay, survey.

102. Analyze the accentual pattern of the following words: unbelievable, demarcation, delineation, substitute, publicize, profile, rehabilitate, foreknowledge, dustbin, labour exchange.

103. Where can primary accent fall in English polysyllabic words? Give examples.


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104. The place of accent in English (is/is not) is not fixed. What kind of language is English from the point of view of the position of accent?

105. Analyze the shift in accent and the accompanying changes in sound in the following derived words and try to establish rules of accent placement in terms of the affixes added in order to form new words:

V Adj. Na. compare, comparable, comparative comparison compete Competitive competition confide confidential confidence blaspheme blasphemous blasphemy celebrate celebrated celebration, celebrity dispute disputable disputation, dispute present presentable presentation prefer preferable preference refer reference cremate crematory, crematorium operate operative operation

106. Find seven ways in which to say Good-morning to: 1. a friend (appreciatively); 2. somebody who you work with and is late (challenging; 3. to a friend or somebody younger (encouragingly) ; 4. to anybody you know but are not too friendly with (calm and reserved) 5; your wife, sister, daughter, etc. (with a hint of a reproach); 6. to an acquaintance, probably your superior, (emphatically); 7. to somebody you know but not to well (liveliness).

107. Find as many intonation patterns as possible for that following utterances:

1. Hullo.2. All right.3. By all means.4. Don`t mention it.