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Varieties of English

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Carito Romero

on 8 May 2014

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Transcript of Varieties of English

Varieties of English
Canadian English
American English
Australian English
Estuary English
Cockney English
Varieties of
Scottish English
Irish English
New Zeland English
South African Enlgish
Standard English
Geographic location

"The Orange": the movement lead by WIlliam III

"The Green": the Roman Catholic forces of Ireland
Ireland has two official languages:
Gaelic (Irish) and English
Irish is an Indo-European language and it arrived in Ireland about 300 B.C. as a Celtic Language.

Nowadays, it is spoken as a first language by only 2% of the population.
English has been used in Ireland since the 12th century, when Henry II and his Norman Knigts settled in the South East.
Historical background
The term was coined by David Rosenware in 1984, and it refers to:

a "variety of modified regional speech" which is a mixture of non-regional and south-eastern English pronunciation and intonation.

This English dialect was named after the banks of the River Thames and its estuary.
A social accent
RP background
Local accents
to sound more street-like and less posh
to sound more sophisticated and less common
Estuary English is considered a neutral and classless dialect
and can blur class distinctions
Features of EE
Yod coalescence
/r/ realization
Tonic prepositions
Phonetic and phonological
associated with RP grammar and usage
ommision of -ly adverbial endings
E.g. "They talked very quiet for a while"
Phonetic and
phonological features
pronouncing the L-sound in a way similar to [w].

The L-sounds involved are the "dark" in RP.
followed by a consonant of pause
glottal stop instead of a /t/ or /d/ in certain positions.
Most typically in final position of before a consonant.
take it off: take i' off
quite nice: qui'e nice
statement: sta'ment
Scotland: sco'land

milk: [miwk]
football: [foobaw]
Happy tensing
using a sound similar to /i:/ rather than /i/ at the end of words.
happy: /hapi:/
coffee: /kofi:/
valley: /væli:/
Yod coalescence
Yod Coalescence consists in using [tS] and [dz], rather than [tj] and [dj]
/r/ realization
realization of the /r/ similar to a general American /r/.
Tonic prepositions
a frequent prominence given to prepositions and auxiliary verbs which are not normally stressed in general RP.
"Let us go TO the point."
Cheers < thank you/good-bye
"basically" is used as a filler
No way < by no means
hopefully < I hope that
hi < hello
right < correct
sure < certainly
How to do a Cockney accent
How to do a British accent
the word Cockney derives from "cocken-ay"
(a cock´s egg) which conveys the meaning of something inferior or worthless.
There is an old saying according to which anybody born within the sound of the bells of St. Mary-le-Bow, a church in the heart of London, can claim to be a true Cockney.
Nowadays however, a Cockney speaker is any person belonging to the East End working class, regardless of their proximity to St. Mary-le-Bow.
Grammatical features
- Double negatives:
That ain’t got nothing to do with it

- the g missing from -ing endings:
Drinkin’, goin’, doin’, puttin’, etc.

- Use of the past participle instead of the simple past:
I done it yesterday; I just seen er

- Use of ain’t when referring to isn’t, aren’t, hasn’t and haven’t:
‘E ain’t ‘ere

- Question tags are widely used to express agreement or to establish one’s position:
‘E knew all abaht it, dinnee?

- The prepositions to and at are frequently dropped in relation to places:
I’m goin’ down the pub

- Use of object pronouns (me) instead of possessive adjectives (my):
They’re over me mum’s
Phonological features
Lexical features
Cockney Ryming Slang
Recieved Pronunciation (RP)
Neutral accent
Regional accent (South East England)
19th century

The Queen's English

Industrial Revolution

Educational Act (1870)
- Spoken by the upper class and educated people
- The aspiration towards RP became total
- The voice of authority, school, university, radio, TV, since the 20th century.
Features of RP
"Use your loaf and think next time" (loaf of bread = head)
"Would you Adam and Eve it? (Adam and Eve = believe)
"Hand over your bees” (bees and honey = money)
“See you alligator” (alligator = later)
"Are you going to rabbit all night?" (rabbit and pork = talk)

taking an expression which rhymes with a word and then using that expression instead of the word
Back Slang
English coded language in which the written word is spoken phonemically backwards.
It is thought to have originated in Victorian England, being used mainly by market sellers
Eno = one
Rouf = four
Taf = fat
Yob = boy

British English
Cockney has its own grammar,
phonology and lexis:
to try to sound similar to the target model

Black American English
to try to sound distant to the target model
at local schools.
RP as a condition of acceptance among the undergraduates at Oxford.
people traveled to the cities and carried their accents.
Accent levelling to climb socially
tendency to converge
upper middle and upper classes
first standard English
- non-rhotic accent
- use of /a:/ when /r/ is deleted.
- linking /r/
- use of dipthongs
- /h/ is pronounced in initial positions
- /ŋ/ for -ing
- no glottal stops
tendency to diverge from the Standard
How did the Irish help to spread English to other parts of the world?
The Act of Union made
Ireland part of the United Kingdom.
English was the first language of more than half the population, and
Irish was increasingly abandoned for 3


devastating famines during the 1840s, and political and religious persecution favored emigration.
• Introduction of Universal English Language
: English was the only language required in schools.

such as the Catholic Church and the independence movements, that were supposed to speak on behalf of the Irish people,
spoke English.
Monserrat (Caribbean Island)
Barbados settlement
the first English speaking colony in Canada. The Irish that worked there as servants outnumbered their masters, and so Irish English became dominant.
Oliver Cromwell used it as an internment camp for prisoners taken during his battles in Ireland.
Irish escaped from the religious prosecutions began by protestants. "Black Irish" community.
This settlement took place in the 19th century. Some settlers were convicts but others were escaping from the economic depression and famine.
- Pennsylvania. 17th century. Migration from Ulster.
- 19th century. Immigrants escaping from famine.
- local constructions
E.g. "sevendable" for “wonderful”

- typical usages borrowed from the Gaelic
E.g. "destroyed" (tired or worn out) “I’m destroyed!” “My coat’s totally destroyed”.

- Gaelic words especially among the old people.
: fairy woman

: to cry in a wailing way.

- tendency towards malapropism, i.e., the habit of selecting words whose choice is often slightly, and ludicrously, inappropriate.
E.g. "formularies" instead of “formalities"
Lexical features
Grammatical features
- Four kinds of Present Tense:
1. I go to school
2. I am going to school
3. I be going to school
4. I do be going to school (do or does + be: mainly used for habitual actions)

- a tendency to Left Dislocation (the targeted constituent is simply fronted to the theme position) and Clefting:
It’s Joe that I saw yesterday < I saw Joe yesterday
It’s looking for more land a lot of them are < A lot of them are looking for more land

- a strong reluctance to say “yes” or “no”, partly not to sound rude and partly because in Gaelic there are no specific terms for “yes” and “no”.
E.g. Indeed, surely.
- a tendency to replace the simple present tense with the conditional (would) and the simple past tense with the conditional perfect (would have).
John asked me would I buy a loaf of bread < John asked me to buy a loaf of bread

- Irish does not have equivalents for indirect questions introduced by whether and if. These sentences have interrogative word order.
E.g. He asked would I like something to eat.

- the second person plural “youse”

- the use of “till” meaning “in order to
E.g. “come till I kiss you”
- Rhotic accent ( /r/ is pronounced wherever it occurs in the word)

- Breathiness and aspiration of consonants.
patron >[pahtron]
data > [dahta]
status > [stahtus]

- the dental fricatives /θ/ and / /become dental stops [t] and [d] respectively, making thin and tin, and then and den

- Diphthongs become, in many words, monophthongs.
boat /bout/ > /bo:t/
cane /kein/ > /ke:n/
- The /ai/ as in “night” may be pronounced /oi/ or /əi/.

- In some old-fashioned varieties, words spelled with ea and pronounced with /i: / in RP are pronounced with /e:/
E.g. meat, beat.
- In words where “oo” usually represents /u/, speakers may use /u: /.
E.g. took

- The /^/ of words such as "cut" tend s to be rounded to /o/ in most varieties.

- Words like "tea"," sea" and "please" are pronounced as the words "tay"," say" and "plays".

- Many words that take initial syllable stress in Standard English are stressed by Irish English speakers in the second syllable.
E.g. de'ficit, in'tricate.
Phonological features
It is the Irish accent. The word brogue itself is a reproduction of the sound of the Irish word for shoe (bróg). That is to say, Irish people were said to speak with “a shoe on their mouth”.
It is the Irish quality of eloquence.
The expression is said to have been claimed by Queen Elizabeth I.
Today, “Blarney” means finding the right speech in an extraordinary situation, when you do not have a word prepared.
The Blarney
Irish Gaelic
Hiberno English
The English of those whose ancestral mother tongue is English, used by a privileged social class in Ireland (usually members of the Church).
• The English of those whose ancestral mother tongue is Gaelic.
• UnEnglishness
• Reluctance to say yes/no
• Stressed syllable different from RP
• Malapropism
Old English was introduced into Scotland by Anglo-Saxons who came from Northumbria and moved towards Scottish lowlands during the 6th, 7th and 8th century.

Scots Gaelic
Scottish English
Slang or slovenly language, socially unacceptable, but widely used. It is spoken in the
, originated as a Germanic language closely related to English. It was originally known as "higlis", and was influenced by Gaelic, Norse, Latin, Dutch, Norman French and English.
Spoken in the
. A Celtic language that is related to both Welsh and Irish.
The standardized form of the English language used in Scotland. It resulted from the language contact between Scots and Inglish.
Historical background
Colonization in Scotland
Political incorporation
Nationalist reaction
• Close to standard British English
• medium that facilitates communication between people from different regional and social backgrounds
• it tends to be spoken at home by members of higher social classes
Before the 5th century
5th century
7th century
8th century
inhabited and controlled by the Celts:
Pictish and Brythonic Celtic
Celtic invasion from Ireland (western area).
Goidelic Celtic
Anglo-Saxon invasion from Northumbria (southern area).
Danish invasion (northern area).
11th century
Norman conquest
13th century
the Royal Court spoke "Inglish", the name given to English given by the Scots.
England tried to conquer Scotland but did not succeed.
"Inglish" came to be known as "Scottish" or "Scots".
15th century
Elizabeth I dies childless. James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England.
The two territories are united: Great Britain.
Scotland retained its distinctive educational and legal practices.

English came to be prestigious in Scotland.
Scots continued to be used among the working class.
Jacobite Revolt: French supporting the Jacobite vs. Hanoverian British government (won).
Turning point in history for the Highlanders. Their traditions were put under severe attack.
English reinforces its prestige.
Reasons that lead to the adoption of English in Scotland:
In 1603, James I moved to London when he became the monarch of both England and Scotland.
All the official documents were in English. The language was necessary for the aristocrats in court, and also prestigious because it was the King's language.
The Church of England, the Kirk, used an edition of the Bible that was in English.
Robert Burns
(1759 – 1796)

He was a Scottish poet and a lyricist.
He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English.
As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them.
Lexical features
Lexical items:
- Outwith: outside of
- Bonnie: good, nice, beautiful
- Wee: small
- Pinkie: little finger
- Janitor: caretaker
- Loch: a lake or a part of the sea partly enclosed by land in Scotland
- Glen: a deep narrow valley in Scotland or Ireland
- Lad: a boy or young man
- Lass(ie): a girl or young woman
- Aye: yes
- Doubt: to think or to suspect

 There are also differences in the distribution of shared lexis, such as “stay” for “live” as in: where do you stay?
 “correct” is often preferred to “right”, meaning morally right or just, as opposed to factually accurate.
 There is a wide range of (often anglicised) legal and administrative vocabulary inherited from Scots:
- Depute: /ˈdɛpjut/
- Proven: /ˈpro:vən / for proved
- Sheriff substitute for acting sheriff
 Culturally specific items:
- Caber: a roughly trimmed tree trunk used in the Scottish Highland sport of tossing the caber. This involves holding the caber upright and running forward to toss it so that it lands on the opposite end.
- Haggis: a Scottish dish consisting of a sheep‘s or calf’s offal mixed with suet, oatmeal, and seasoning and boiled in a bag, traditionally one made from the animal's stomach.
- Landward: [adv] toward land:the ship turned landward
[adj] facing toward land as opposed to sea:the landward side of the road
 IDIOMS: Scots idioms and phrases that have been carried over into SSE.

o “It’s your shot” for “it’s your turn”
o Cheerio just now! For Goodbye for now!
o To go the messages for To go shopping.
o The back of nine for Just after nine (o' clock).
o That's me away for I'm going now.
by Carolina Romero
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