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Accents vs. Dialects Accent Languages are pronounced differently by people from different geographical places, from different social classes and different educational backgrounds. Differences of accent are pronunciation differences only. Dialects Dialect is a variety of a language which is different from other not just in pronunciation but also in vocabulary, grammar and word order.
Main Standard And Regional Accents In British
• • • • There is a great diversity in the spoken realization of English in different parts of the country and by different sections of the community. The sounds of the language are always in process of change, there are always disparities between the speech sounds of the younger and older generations The speech of all regions should not develop either in the same way or at the same rate, and different parts of the country might be exposed to different external influences (foreign invasions) For the last five century one kind of pronunciation of English began to acquire social prestige. For reason of politics, commercial and the presence of the Court it was the pronunciation of the south-east of England, particularly to that of the London region. Many courtiers, however, continued to use the pronunciation of their own region. The speech of the Court phonetically larger, in time lost some of the local characteristics of th London speech. It has been finally fixed, as the speech of the ruling class, through the conformist influence of the public school of nineteenth century. Those eager for social advancement felt obliged to change their accent in the direction of social standard. Pronunciation became a maker of position in society.
Received pronunciation (r.p.) As a model of pronunciation
• • • • • • • • This implicitly accepted social standard of pronunciation is called R.P., the term suggests that it is the result of a social judgement rather than of an official decision as to what is ‘correct’ or ‘wrong’. It is most familiar as the accent used by most announcers and newsreaders on BBC and other national radios and TV channels, thus it is also called BBC Pronunciation . Certain types of regional pronunciation are firmly established. Some, especially Standard Scottish English (SSE), are accepted; others are characterized as ugly (the popular pronunciation large towns, such as Liverpool and Birmingham). RP itself can be a handicap, it may be taken as a mark of affection or a desire to emphasize social superiority. American pronunciation is not familiar in Britain. Within RP, those habits of pronunciation that are most firmly established tend to be regarded as ‘correct’ while innovation tends to be stigmatized. Even within RP there are some areas and many individual words wher alternative pronunciation are possible. It is convenient to distinguish three main types of RP: General RP, Refined RP and Regional RP. Refined RP is that type which is commonly associated with upper-class. It is increasingly declining because for many others speakers it is often regarded as affected.
Received Pronunciation (continuation)...
• • Regional RP reflects regional pronunciation rather than class variation and will vary according to which region is involved in ‘regional’ (we should talk of Regional RPs in the plural). Some phoneticians would regard the term Regional RP as a contradiction in terms, because of part of the definition of RP is that it should not tell you where someone comes from. Yet it is useful to have such a term to describe the type of speech which is basically RP except for the presence of a few regional characteristics. But some others features of regional accents may be too stigmatized to be acceptable as RP. London Regional RP has provoked much discussion under the name ‘Estuary English’ (it refers to the Times estuary). It is a modification of RP towards Cockney. It is said to be being adopted by those wishing avoid the stigma of RP as ‘posh’. RP has traditionally been the type of pronunciation taught to learners of English as an L2 and that described in book on the phonetics of British English. The role of RP in the English-speaking world has changed in the last century. Over 320 million people speak English as a first language (the majority speak some form of American English) and another 150 million use English as an official language (in this cases it is usually a form of local pronunciation, e.g. in India). However RP continues to serve as a model.
Comparing System Of Pronunciation
• • It reveals differences of several kinds: Systemic differences: differences in PHONEME INVENTARY. The system may be different , i.e. the number of oppositions may be smaller or greater, e.g. the RP /æ/-/ɑː/ opposition may not be present like in Scottish, those form do not distinguish Sam and psalm. Distributional differences: different phonotactic possibilities. The system may be the same but the phonetic context in which certain phonemes occur may be different, e.g. in RP /r/ has a limited distribution, it only occurs in pre-vocalic position (red) while in accents that has a full distribution (such as American and Scottish) /r/ occurs preconsonantally and pre-pausally sa well as pre-vocalically, part and car will be pronounced /pɑːrt/ and /kɑːr/ whereas in RP will be /pɑːt/ and /kɑː/. Lexical differences: differences of LEXICAL INCIDENCES. The system may be the same, but the occurrence or ‘incidences’ of phonemes in words is different, e.g. in those Northern forms in which have the RP opposition /uː/-/ʊ/, but use /uː/ in book, took, etc. Realizational differences: The system may the same, but the PHONETIC REALIZATION of the phonemes may be different, e.g. the RP opposition between the vowels of bet and bat is maintained but, the realization in some accents is much more open than in RP (as in Northern English).
System And Standard Other Than R.P
• • • • • • • • • • • • Major dialects in English: General American Systemic differences between RP and GA: lacks the some RP diphthongs and GA has not /ɒ/ Distributional differences: full distribution of /r/ (pre-consonantal, pre-pausal and pre-vocalic) Lexical differences: concerns words which in RP have /ɑː/ while in GA have /æ/ Differences of realization are numerous, e.g. /t/ intervocalically is usually a voiced tap in GA. ****************** Completar ***************************** Standard Scottish English Cockney Northern English Australian English ****************** Completar
Transcription System (R.P. English)
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The symbols used to represent the phonemics of RP are those of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA): 44 different symbols (24 consonants and 20 vowels) Vowels The short of transcription of vowels used here is called comparative phonemic because it allows comparison with vowels of other languages (it seeks to be phonetically explicit for the purpose of comparing English with other language (Crutteden, p.97). It uses vowel symbols which are to some extent indicative of the usual qualities of those vowels. Thus the short vowels are given different symbols from the long vowels in order to reflect the fact that quality and length are assumed to be equally important in maintaining the contrast between vowels. Consonants Two principles: Using the phonetic symbols of the most frequent allophones Replacing non-Roman symbols arising from a) by roman symbols where these are not already in use, e.g. the most common allophone of the phoneme at the beginning of red is /ɺ/ but the phonemic transcription replaces /ɺ/ by /r/ (Roman symbol). It is used phonemes wit two symbols, like /ʧ/ or /ʤ/.
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