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Canadian English

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Marian Albrecht

on 23 June 2015

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Transcript of Canadian English

Canadian English
British English:
“railways”, “braces”, “porridge”, “zed” and “serviette” (instead of “railroads”, “suspender”, “oatmeal”, “zi”, and “table napkins” used in AmE).
American English:
“elevator”, “gas”, “truck”, “sidewalk” (instead of “lift”, “petrol”, “lorry”, and “pavement” from BrE).
Indian languages:
“chipmunk” (a squirrel), “moose” (a deer), “kayak” (a kind of canoe).

-Relatively homogeneous across the country

- Canadian English is “the result of a language melting pot that resolved into a standard accent” (McCrum, 248)

-a hybrid of British and American English with its own distinctive features

-differences: vocabulary and pronunciation.

-No distinctive Canadian grammar

-(the language) reflects the struggle for national identity

-there is a preference for British features
Quebec (Ottawa, Toronto)
Regional varieties
Nationalist reaction
- 1995 → Quebec referendum
Political Incorporation
- 1756 → Seven Year's War
- 1763 →Treaty of Paris
- 1774 → Quebec Act
- 1776-1783 → Migration of Loyalists
- 1791 → Constitutional Act: Upper and Lower Canada
- 1770-1815 → Scots migration
- 1840 → Irish migration
- 1839 → Lord Durham's report → 1840: Act of Union
- 1867 → Canadian Confederation
- 1931 → Statute of Westminster
- 1982 → Canada Act
• Aboriginal people →the First Nations
•1497 → Giovanni Caboto (Britain) → Newfoundland
• 1534-1535 → Jacques Cartier (France) → Quebec
• 1605 → Samuel de Champlain (France) → Nova Scotia
• 1608 → Samuel de Champlain → Quebec
• 1670 → Hudson's Bay Company (Britain)

- Colonization of Canada
--First Settlers
1. Canada's general facts
2. Colonization of Canada
--First Settlers
3. Political incorporation
4. Nationalist reaction
5. Regional varieties
6. Characteristics of Canadian English
7. Linguistic Features:
- Phonological features
- Grammatical features
- Lexical features
- Spelling features
8. Activity: Watch-video
Canada’s general facts
- The second largest country in the world

- Capital city: Ottawa

- Divided into provinces and territories grouped in regions

- Federal State - Parliamentary Democracy- Constitutional Monarchy.

-A “Cultural mosaic” or a “Melting Pot”

- Official languages: English and French
Giovanni Cabot
Jacques Cartier
Samuel de Champlain
Hudson's Bay Company
1756 → Seven Year's War
1763 →Treaty of Paris
1774 → Quebec Act
1776-1783 →
Migration of Loyalists
Scots & Irish
1840 Act of Union
1931 Statue of
1982 Canada Act
1969 → Official Languages Act
1977 Bill 101
Quebec (Montreal)
General Canadian
The Maritimes
Characteristics of
Canadian English

Canadian Raising
” refers to a non-lowering of some diphthongs that usually are lowered.

The diphthongs /aɪ/ and /aʊ/ have a raised onset before voiceless consonants and; as a result, /aɪ/ becomes /ʌi/ and /aʊ/ becomes /ʌu/.

For example, in the following words,
the first one has a raised onset:
Due to the Canadian Raising, Americans hear that Canadians pronounce about as something closer to aboot because of the higher pronunciation of the sound /ʊ/.
Linguistic Features
Phonological Features
1- Canadian Raising:

certain dipthongs are raised before voiceless consonants (/p/, /t/, /k/, /s/, /f/).
→ /aɪ/ becomes [ʌi]
• Knives: /naɪvz/ • Knife: /naɪf/ > /nʌIf/
• Tribe: /traɪb/ • Tripe: /traɪp/ > /trʌɪp/
• Bide: /baɪd/ • Bite: /baɪt/ > / bʌɪt/

→ In the dipthong “ou”, /aʊ/ becomes [ʌu]

• House: /haʊs/ > /hʌus/
• About: /əbaut/ > /əbʌut/

2- “Cot and Caught merger”:
the merger of two vowels. They produce these minimal pairs with the same vowel sound (: cot/caught, don/down, offal/awful.
• /ɒ/ (as in cot) and /ɔ/ (as in caught) merge as [ɒ] > /kɒt/
• /dɒn/ (as in don) and /ɔ/ (as in down) merge as [ɒ] > /dɒn/
• /ɒfl/ (as in offal) and /ɔ/ (as inawful) merge as [ɒ] > /ɒfl/
3- Pre- rhotic vowels:
while American English speakers tend to substitute [ɒ] for [a] before inter-vocalic [r] in words such as sorry, tomorrow,
borrow, sorrow, Canadians tend to retain the sound /oɒ/.

The vowels ( ) and ( ) tend to be pronounced identically before inter-vocalic r.
A result of this the word pairs
marry-merry and Barry-berry are pronounced without vowel sound distinction.
4- Syllable- final rhoticity:
As in Standard American English, final r is pronounced.
• Never: /ˈnevə/ > /ˈnevər/
• Farm: /fɑ:m/ > / fɑ:rm/
5- T- flapping:
Canadians as Americans tend to pronounce /t/ as /d/ between vowels and after /r/.
As a result, the alveolar stops in waiting, wading, seated, seeded, for example, are all flapped.
6- T- deleition:
the /t/ is usually deleted after /n/
• Toronto: /tə’rɒnəʊ/ or / tərɒnə/
• Twenti: /twenɪ/
• Internet: /ɪnərnet/

7- The loss of /j/:

the sound /j/ is used after /t/, /d/, /n/.
• Tuesday: /tjuzdeɪ/
• New: /nju/
• Tune: /tjun/
The name of
the letter “z”
is pronounced as /zed/ (BrE),
instead of /zi/ (AmE).
Pronunciation of
certain words:
American pronunciation:
• Schedule: /’skedjuːl/ (instead of /ˈʃed.juːl/  BrE)
• Tomato: /tə’meɪt ̬oʊ/ /(instead of /təˈmɑː.təʊ/ BrE)

British pronunciation:
• Progress: /ˈprəʊgres/ (instead of AmE /prɑːgres /).
• Project: /ˈprɒdʒekt/ (instead of AmE /prɑːdʒekt/).
• Process: /ˈprəʊses/ (instead of AmE /ˈprɑːses/).

Grammatical features
CanE tends to agree grammatically with AmE.

People from the middle-class prefer saying:
Have you got a match?
to either the AmE Do you have a match? or the conservative BrE Have you a match?;

but the younger generation are moving to the American form.
Discursive features
The use of
a national tic used to mean different things:
• As a
Tag question
You know it, eh? = (don’t you?)

• To
commands, exclamations, etc.: Do your homework, eh?

In anecdotes:
When all of a sudden I saw this big guy, eh? = (you see)

• To elicit
or confirmation:
Is it cute, eh?
Lexical features
British English:
“railways”, “braces”, “porridge”, “zed” and “serviette”
(instead of “railroads”, “suspender”, “oatmeal”, “zi”, and “table napkins” used in AmE).

American English:

“elevator”, “gas”, “truck”, “sidewalk”
(instead of “lift”, “petrol”, “lorry”, and “pavement” from BrE).
Indian languages:
“chipmunk” (a squirrel), “moose” (a deer), “kayak” (a kind of canoe).
-chesterfield (sofa)
-face-off (to start the game of ice-hockey)
-puck (a small disc of hard rubber used in ice hockey)
Spelling features
Features from British English:

• Canadians use the
British spelling
for words such as colour, centre or theatre
(instead of color, center, theater from AmE).

• Some nouns that end in –ice take –ise in their corresponding verbs, for instance: practice (n) and practise (v).

• In words such as offence or defence, Canadians use the British spelling instead of the American offense or defense
Features from American English:

• Canadians use the American spelling for words related to the automobile industry since it has historically been dominated by American firms. (Tire, aluminum)

• Words ending with –ise or –yse are usually spelled with –ize or –yze. (stigmatize, paralyze)
I am Canadian
1. Use of –our and –re
E.g. colour, theatre, centre, behaviour AmE color, theater, center, behavior

2. Use of ae- and oe-
E.g. aesthetic, archaeology, manoeuvre AmE esthetic, archaeology, maneuver

3. Use of double L
E.g. woollen, traveller, cancelled AmE woolen, traveler, canceled

4. Use of –ize and –yze
E.g. organize, realize, analyze, paralyze BrE organise, realise, analyse, paralyse

5. Other examples
E.g. tire, cheque, program, curb BrE tyre, check, programme, kerb
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