Regional variation of pronunciation in the south-west of England

  Бродович О.И. Диалектная вариативность английского языка: аспекты теории. Л., 1988 Маковский М.М. Английская диалектология. Современные английские диалекты Великобритании. М., 1980 Шахбагова Д.А.

Regional variation of pronunciation in the south-west of England

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МОСКОВСКИЙ ГОРОДСКОЙ ПЕДАГОГИЧЕСКИЙ УНИВЕРСИТЕТ

Факультет иностранных языков

Английское отделение

 

 

 

Дипломная работа

по фонетике английского языка

на тему:

«REGIONAL VARIATION OF PRONUNCIATION IN THE SOUTH-WEST OF ENGLAND»

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Москва 2001

 

 

Plan:

Introduction…………………………………………………………………………….3

Part I. The Specific Features of dialects

  1. What is the “dialect”?……………………………………………………………4
  2. Geographic dialects………………………………………………………………5
  3. Dialectal change and diffusion…………………………………………………...5
  4. Unifying influences on dialects…………………………………………………..8
  5. Focal, relic, and transitional areas………………………………………………..9
  6. Received Pronunciation………………………………………………………….9
  7. Who first called it PR?………………………………………………………….10
  8. Social Variation…………………………………………………………………11
  9. Dialects of England: Traditional and Modern…………………………………..12

Part II. Background to the Cornish Language

  1. Who are the Cornish?…………………………………………………………...15
  2. What is a Celtic Language?…………………………………………………….15
  3. How is Cornish Related to other Celtic Languages?…………………………...15
  4. The Decline of Cornish…………………………………………………………15
  5. The Rebirth of Cornish…………………………………………………………16
  6. Standard Cornish………………………………………………………………..16
  7. Who uses Cornish Today?……………………………………………………...16
  8. Government Recognition for Cornish…………………………………………..16

Part III. Peculiarities of South-Western Dialects

  1. Vocalisation…………………………………………………………………….18
  2. Consonantism…………………………………………………………………...23
  3. Grammar………………………………………………………………………..27

3.1 Nouns……………………………………………………………………….27

3.2 Gender………………………………………………………………………27

3.2.1 Gender making in Wessex-type English………………………………….27

3.3 Numerals……………………………………………………………………29

3.4 Adjectives…………………………………………………………………...29

.5 Pronouns…………………………………………………………………….30

3.5.1 Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns

in a Devonshire dialect…………………………………………………31

3.6 Verbs……………………………………………………………………...39

3.7 Adverbs…………………………………………………………………...42

3.8 Transitivity and intransivity in the dialects

of South-West England…………………………………………………...44

4. Vocabulary………………………………………………………………..52

Conclusions…………………………………………………………………………...68

Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………..69

Supplements…………………………………………………………………………..71

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction.

 

The modern English language is an international language nowadays. It is also the first spoken language of such countries as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa.

But in the very United Kingdom there are some varieties of it, called dialects, and accents.

The purpose of the present research paper is to study the characteristic features of the present day dialect of the South-Western region in particular.

To achieve this purpose it is necessary to find answers to the following questions:

  1. What is the “dialect”?
  2. Why and where is it spoken?
  3. How does it differ from the standard language?

Methods of this research paper included the analysis of works of the famous linguists and phoneticians as Peter Trudgill and J.K. Chambers, Paddock and Harris, J.A. Leuvensteijn and J.B. Berns, M.M. Makovsky and D.A. Shakhbagova, and also the needed information from Britannica and the encyclopedia by David Crystal and the speech of the native population of Devonshire and Wiltshire.

Structurally the paper consists of three parts focused on the information about “the dialect” in general and the ways it differs from the standard language (its phonetic, grammar and other linguistic differences), and the specific features of the South-West of England.

The status of the English language in the XXth century has undergone certain changes. Modern English has become a domineering international language of nowadays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART I. The Specific Features of dialects.

  1. What is the “dialect”?

Dialect is a variety of a language. This very word comes from the Ancient Greek dialectos “discourse, language, dialect”, which is derived from dialegesthai “to discourse, talk”. A dialect may be distinguished from other dialects of the same language by features of any part of the linguistic structure - the phonology, morphology, or syntax.

“The label dialect, or dialectal, is attached to substandard speech, language usage that deviates from the accepted norm. On the other hand the standard language can be regarded as one of the dialects of a given language. In a special historical sense, the term dialect applies to a language considered as one of a group deriving from a common ancestor, e.g. English dialects”. (№9, p.389)

It is often considered difficult to decide whether two linguistic varieties are dialects of the same language or two separate but closely related languages; this is especially true of dialects of primitive societies.

Normally, dialects of the same language are considered to be mutually intelligible while different languages are not. Intelligibility between dialects is, however, almost never absolutely complete; on the other hand, speakers of closely related languages can still communicate to a certain extent when each uses his own mother tongue. Thus, the criterion of intelligibility is quite relative. In more developed societies, the distinction between dialects and related languages is easier to make because of the existence of standard languages and, in some cases, national consciousness.

There is the term vernacular among the synonyms for dialect; it refers to the common, everyday speech of the ordinary people of a region. The word accent has numerous meanings; in addition to denoting the pronunciation of a person or a group of people (“a foreign accent”, “a British accent”, “a Southern accent”). In contrast to accent, the term dialect is used to refer not only to the sounds of language but also to its grammar and vocabulary.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Geographic dialects.

The most widespread type of dialectal differentiation is geographic. As a rule, the speech of one locality differs from that of any other place. Differences between neighbouring local dialects are usually small, but, in travelling farther in the same direction, differences accumulate.

“Every dialectal feature has its own boundary line, called an isogloss (or sometimes heterogloss). Isoglosses of various linguistic phenomena rarely coincide completely, and by crossing and interweaving they constitute intricate patterns on dialect maps. Frequently, however, several isoglosses are grouped approximately together into a bundle of isoglosses. This grouping is caused either by geographic obstacles that arrest the diffusion of a number of innovations along the same line or by historical circumstances, such as political borders of long standing, or by migrations that have brought into contact two populations whose dialects were developed in noncontiguous areas”. (№9, p.396)

Geographic dialects include local ones or regional ones. Regional dialects do have some internal variation, but the differences within a regional dialect are supposedly smaller than differences between two regional dialects of the same rank.

“In a number of areas (“linguistic landscapes”) where the dialectal differentiation is essentially even, it is hardly justified to speak of regional dialects. This uniformity has led many linguists to deny the meaningfulness of such a notion altogether; very frequently, however, bundles of isoglosses - or even a single isogloss of major importance - permit the division, of a territory into regional dialects. The public is often aware of such divisions, usually associating them with names of geographic regions or provinces, or with some feature of pronunciation. Especially clear-cut cases of division are those in which geographic isolation has played the principal role”. (№9, p.397)

 

  1. Dialectal change and diffusion.

The basic cause of dialectal differentiation is linguistic change. Every living language constantly changes in its various elements. Because languages are extremely complex systems of signs, it is almost inconceivable that linguistic evolution could affect the same elements and even transform them in the same way in all regions where one language is spoken and for all speakers in the same region. At first glance, differences caused by linguistic change seem to be slight, but they inevitably accumulate with time (e.g. compare Chaucers English with modern English). Related languages

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