English dialects

The concept and essence of dialects. Key factors influencing the formation of dialect speech. Standards and dialectal speech. Classification of the modern territorial dialects. Characteristics of British dialects: Cockney, Estuary English, West Country.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
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Язык английский
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According to merriam-webster.com (2011) there are two specialized meanings of the word dialect. A dialect is a regional variety of language distinguished by features of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation from other regional varieties and constituting together with them a single language. Dialect also refers to a variety of language whose identity is fixed by a factor other than geography (as social class). [11]

Dialect - a variety of a language spoken by a group of people and having features of vocabulary, grammar, and/or pronunciation that distinguish it from other varieties of the same language. Dialects usually develop as a result of geographic, social, political, or economic barriers between groups of people who speak the same language.

The actuality of the theme. The study provides invaluable dialects and inexhaustible material not only to penetrate into the deepest roots of language, its historical past but can sensibly, without bias and one-sidedness to evaluate and understand the characteristics of the formation and development of literary norms, different social and professional dialects and language options. Only accounting dialect data provides an opportunity to understand not only the so-called "deviations" from the rules of spelling and grammar, but the rules themselves, and can serve as a solid basis for studying the formation and development of the meanings of words.

There is a view that dialects - a "profane language" use "uneducated" sections of society. However, such a judgment is a historical and wrong actually, because, first, the literary norm, usually formed on the basis of one or more of the local dialects, and secondly, the language features of any local dialect due not "carelessness" speech of its speakers, a strict historical laws.

The aim of the research is to provide a general overview of the way in which dialectal issues are handled in England.

This purpose assumes the solution of the following objectives:

· To research development and features of formation of English dialects;

· To compare dialects of Great Britain;

· To illustrate features of their usage in speech.

The object of research is phonetic, grammatical and lexical peculiarities of dialects.

Studying English dialects the following methods of research will be applied:

· The method of linguistic geography which offers an explanation to ways and regularities of language development, characterizes features of language formation in a certain territory;

· Comparative-historical, which allows comparing the dialect phenomena with historical facts.

Theoretical value of the term paper consists that the subject, despite its study, remains interesting and informative for future linguists in view of the matter includes much as linguistic, geographical and historical material. And also demands studying of a set of scientific and publicistic articles on history and geography of England. And having united the history and geographic of England, we will attempt to analyze and describe various dialects.

The practical significance of the term paper in fact that acquaintance with dialects is one of the most important item in teaching foreign language. Because we constantly face with usage of dialect structures in oral and written speech, so, we should not simply understand them, but also be able to explain distinctions to pupils.

1. Language dialects of English

1.1 The concept and essence of dialects

The study of dialects offers a fascinating approach to learning about language. Ideally, by learning about how language varies geographically and socially, students will come to understand at least two basic facts about language: 1) that language changes over time, and 2) that language use is linked to social identity.

Language variation, or dialect diversity, reflects the fact that languages change over time and that people who live in the same geographical area or maintain the same social identity share language norms; in other words, they speak the same dialect. Although dialects differ geographically and socially, no dialect is better structurally than another. While many people believe there to be only one correct form of a language, what is standard actually varies from dialect to dialect. For example, the normal Southern pronunciation of the word pin does not differ from the pronunciation of the word pen. But because other dialects make a distinction between the vowels i and e preceding the nasal sound /n/, speakers of those dialects may assess the Southern pronunciation as incorrect instead of simply different. Judging someone's pronunciation (or grammar or word choice) as wrong may lead to unwarranted judgments about their intelligence or ability. [5; 154]

A dialect is a specific variety of English that differs from other varieties in three specific ways: lexis (vocabulary), grammar (structure) and phonology (pronunciation or accent). English dialects may be different from each other, but all speakers within the English-speaking world can still generally understand them. A speaker from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, for instance, might pepper his speech with localized vocabulary, such as gan for "to go" or clarts for "mud". He may often use regional grammatical constructions, such as the past tense constructions I've went and I've drank or the reflexive pronouns mysel, yoursel, hissel etc. In addition he probably uses a range of local pronunciations. For all these reasons he could be described as a Geordie dialect speaker.

There are a huge number of dialects of English. First, they are the result of expansion of the British Empire, and then the influence of the U.S. government around the world.The most common dialects of English - British, based in the southern UK. The second - is the U.S., based on well Mid-American.

Since about 70% of native English speakers living in the U.S., this is the language option is becoming dominant in the study of English as a foreign language, although the previous tutorials and speech were largely based on the British version.

1.2 Key factors influencing the formation of dialect speech

The history of development of any language is closely connected with history of development of the people speaking in this language. Therefore to study formation and development of this or that language it is impossible in a separation from deep studying of history of the state and the people. In this regard, the history of English can be divided into three periods: Old English, Middle English, new English, but V. D. Arakin allocates one more - the most ancient.

Periodization of English language history by V. D. Arakin:

1. The most ancient period - the period dated by time between the first centuries AD of the VII--VIII centuries. It is the period of language existence of Old English tribes which lay down then in a basis of an English nationality. These languages possessed a number of qualitative signs which, however, can be restored only thanks to comparative-historical research as written monuments of this period we didn't reach;

2. The Old English period (Anglo-Saxon) - VII-XI centuries, since invasion of the German tribes to the British Isles to a gain of Britain Normans (Normans) in 1066; it is the period of language of a developing English nationality;

3. Middle English period - the period dated by time of wars of the XI-XV centuries, to feudal Scarlet and a White Rose (1455-1485) and publishing introductions in England (1477). It is the period of language of the developed English nationality which is gradually developing into the nation.

4. The new English period - the period since the end of the XV century up to now, is subdivided into two periods: а) early new English - the period of formation of national language norms and) late new English - the period of the developed national language norms.

Every period of English language is characterized by certain, peculiar lines for it. In other words, language changed in time. Precisely as well dialects during the different periods changed, passed a certain evolution. [1; 253]

Dialect - a version of language which is used as a means of communication by the people tied among them by one territory. According to V.M. Zhirmunskii, "the dialect represents unity not primordially this, but developed historically in the course of socially caused interaction with other dialects of public language, as result not only differentiations, but also integration: unity developing, dynamic as character of isoglosses of the language card which is visually reflecting communication stories of language with history of the people testifies to that". The dialect can differ from other dialects of the same language with features of any part of linguistic structure - morphology, phonetics, lexicon or syntax. [3; 23]

The main reason for emergence of dialect distinctions is weakening of communications and relative isolation of various groups of a linguistic community. As language represents the phenomenon historically changing, in its various innovations which, having arisen originally in one place constantly arise, then gradually extend. As a rule, however, a little close connection between members of a linguistic community is at a loss.

The synchronous condition of phonetic system of modern English dialects is directly caused by specifics of its historical development in this or that area, mutual contacts of dialects, influence of language samples of the won language or absence of such influence. If in some territories (especially southern) the pronunciation of a number of sounds and sound combinations coincides with a literary standard (the last to some extent got into all dialects), in other areas it is possible to note considerable divergences in comparison with national language - a pronunciation of separate sounds in English dialects in some cases not only differs from literary, but also is differentiated in separate territories.

The main phonetic differences of dialects from a literary standard are consisted both in quantitative characteristics, and in quality indicators of separate sounds. For dialects the pronunciation of those sounds which in literary option aren't said at all is very characteristic. On the other hand, many sounds said in literary option, in dialects fall. Use of parasitic sounds in a word, dissimilation is also characteristic.

Practically there is no dialect which would have parallel differences as in the field of phonetics as in grammar. The grammatical and phonetic divergence of local language systems has cross character more often. So, if to present that any language has four dialects a, b, c, d, it is not obligatory, that the dialect a differed from any other dialect both at level of phonetics and at grammar level. On the contrary, the dialect a can have divergences of a phonetic order and full grammatical similarity to a dialect b or to any other dialect. In the same way grammatical distinction isn't surely accompanied by phonetic distinction. Therefore classification can be more or less satisfactory if it is under construction on a basis either phonetic (phonologic), or grammatical criteria. Phonetic change cannot be accompanied by change in area of a grammatical system of language and on the contrary. In the same way changes in area of syntax can be made regardless of the fact that occurs in other areas of language.

At language mixture of two closely related dialects or languages observed gluing in elements of grammatical system of one language or a dialect in grammatical system of other language or a dialect.

Functions of dialect lexicon in language are various. So, in the sphere of oral communication in this or that territory they still remain one of means of communication. In written forms of language (for example, regional newspapers) some dialects help local readers to call separate subjects, the phenomena, processes.

In fiction language dialects are used for the image of local geographical features, specifics of a life, culture. They help to characterize heroes more brightly, to transfer identity of their speech, and sometimes serve also as means of satirical coloring.

The use of dialectal words in fiction language, in newspaper speech - is one of the ways of their penetration into the literary language.

Considering lexical dialects scientists allocate three groups:

1. Actually lexical. Words which coincide with common-literary on value are called as actually lexical dialecticisms, but differ the sound complex. They call the same concepts, as words of the literary language identical to them, which is some kind of synonyms to words of the literary language.

2. Lexico-semantic. The words coinciding in writing and a pronunciation with literary, but different from them by the value are called as lexico-semantic dialecticisms.

3. Ethnographic. Words which are also widespread only in a certain dialect are called as ethnographic dialecticisms and reflect local features of labor activity, of life and so on.

In the bulk dialectal words are not a component of common-literary lexicon. But through informal conversation (especially through popular speech) dialecticisms get into the literary language.

1.3 Standards and dialectal speech

Languages are not simply cold linguistic systems studied in grammar books, but rather, tools for human communication. Therefore, as a human phenomenon, language is endowed with the spontaneous and ever-changing nature typical of us human beings. It is thanks to this medium that we can establish social relationships with other people, and so perform certain social functions, for there is no doubt that any speech act has a particular function in the context where it is taking place. In addition to the purely communicative function of language, we should not overlook that language is also a powerful source of personal information, in the sense that the way we speak our language is highly influenced by both our social status and our region of origin. Thus, if a given speaker comes from County Durham, for example, he or she probably uses the kind of language spoken by people from that part of the country. If this person is also a middle-class businessman, he uses the kind of language associated with people of this type. Kinds of language of this sort are often referred to as dialects, the first type in the previous example being a regional dialect and the second a social dialect.

Dialect is a concept that tends to be confused with accent; however, it should be explained that dialect has to do with lexical, grammatical and phonetic differences between different language varieties, whereas accent refers solely to pronunciation. Taking the notion of dialect as a basis, I think that it would be convenient to define language as the compilation of all the dialects (or language varieties) of a given linguistic system used worldwide. Accordingly, the English language as a whole would include not only English English, but also American English, Australian English, Canadian English... As there mentioned, hence it becomes clear that the notion of a unique worldwide Standard English is simply an utopia which is quite far from becoming a reality, for as David Graddol suggests, "a standard variety of English can only actually exist in the shape of one of its regional variations". [6;190]

In the previous paragraph, it is noticed about concept that surely stands out in any discussion revolving around dialectal issues: Standard English. This is the dialect which is normally used officially, that is, the kind of English to be found in printed books, newspapers, educational contexts, dictionaries, grammar books... However, it is obvious importance should not deter us from considering and valuing the existence of unofficial, or rather, non-standard dialects. As we shall see later on, it is when we start talking about standard and non-standard dialects that many social prejudices and misjudgments come into play. Having made clear some introductory concepts, it should be stated that the remainder of this part of term paper will be primarily concerned with one of the Standard English is mentioned above: English English. This term refers to the English language as spoken only in England. Even though "British English" is more commonly used than "English English" to refer to the same reality, we should not forget that the former is reserved to describe the features common to all UK language varieties (English English, Welsh English, Scottish English, and sometimes Hiberno-English), while the latter is restricted to the kind of English used only in England.

As mentioned above, dialects are both regional and social , so it is no wonder that any individual speaker's speech shows traces of his/her home town, his/her upbringing, education... Peter Trudgill calls the reader's attention to the fact that there are certain parallels between the development of social varieties and that of regional varieties. He explains that the development of both regional and social varieties has to do with the existence of barriers: geographical, in the case of regional varieties, and social, in the case of social varieties. [8; 23]

To provide an example of the first kind of barriers, it has been found that Traditional Dialect speakers in the areas of Britain north of the river Humber still have a monophthong in words like house /hu:s/, whereas speakers south of the river have used a diphthong for several hundred years /haus/. Regional variation is undoubtedly also affected by distance, so the greater the geographical distance between two dialects the more dissimilar they are linguistically. With regards to social dialects, we may say that they are also affected by the same kind of variables to be found when studying regional dialects: barriers and distance. Nevertheless, social barriers and distance are not as clear-cut as geographical barriers and distance may appear to be, for what comes into play now is not something physical (a river, a mountain) but abstract. In fact, the division of society into various strata is nothing but a fairly blurred and abstract classification based on the notion of privilege, which is a concept determined by power, wealth and status. Trudgill holds that it takes a long time for a linguistic innovation that begins among the highest social groups to spread to the lowest social groups, thus emphasizing the paramount role that social distance may play when it comes to dealing with linguistic matters. Before turning our attention to more social aspects, we should bear in mind that dialects are not discrete varieties, which means that it is not possible to state in exact geographical and linguistic terms where people stop speaking Cumbrian dialect and start speaking Geordie. Instead, we should refer to what sociolinguists call a dialect continuum, i.e. a range of dialects spoken across a geographical area, differing only slightly between areas that are geographically close, and gradually decreasing in mutual intelligibility as the distances become greater. If we choose to place clear dividing lines between several dialects, basing our decision solely on county boundaries, then we will probably be acting according to socio-political loyalties, rather than linguistic facts. This statement seems to make sense if we consider the distinction drawn between Geordie (Newcastle) and Mackem (Sunderland), a distinction certainly based more on football rivalry and loyalty than on actual linguistic facts.

Consequently, it may be deduced that dialects and accents in England are clearly related to differences of social-class background and prestige. Taking this idea into account, the reader may begin to understand why the terms Standard English (a social dialect) and RP (a social accent) are so controversial and so open to heated debate. Let us first provide some general background on the emergence and subsequent importance of Standard English. The rise of a certain dialect as the standard variety of that language takes place simultaneously with the rise of a given social group as the most powerful one. It is under such circumstances that the standard variety begins to acquire the social prestige with which we tend to associate the notion of standardness. In England, the standard variety derived from the south-eastern triangle around London, where the Normans established both their court and the university towns of Oxford and Cambridge. As centuries went by, the South-Eastern variety was gradually imposed from above over the range of regional dialects; thereby trying to obliterate linguistic variation and diversity in favour of what Trudgill calls a "superposed variety of language". The arbitrariness associated with the standardization of a certain variety is evident if one conceives the possibility that had the Normans established their Court in the North-East (instead of the South-East), this superposed variety nowadays would have been closer to Geordie The official nature of standard English has led to its being regarded as the most perfect and accurate variety, against which all other English usage is measured. Contrary to expectations, however, the standard variety is not intrinsically superior to other (non-standard) varieties, for there is nothing linguistically (and hence, scientifically) relevant that proves that a given variety is better than another one. As explained below, judgments of this kind are based not on linguistic facts, but on socio-economic misjudgments or prejudices. For many years, Standard English has been closely linked to a particular accent, the so-called RP (Received Pronunciation). This upper-class kind of accent began to been utilized in the most famous English fee-paying or Public schools at the end of the nineteenth century. From then on, RP came to be viewed as the best English accent, that is, the accent everyone should master or aim at achieving. Due to its social and educational prestige, RP is also referred to as The Queen's English or even BBC English (in the early years of broadcasting it was very rare to hear any other accents on the BBC). Surprising though it may seem, this social accent is not necessarily linked to Standard English, which can be spoken with any regional accent. Despite the widespread foreign (and ESL) belief that everyone in England speaks Standard English with an RP pronunciation, it should be pointed out that according to Melchers & Shaw , "only 12 per cent of the population of England are speakers of Standard English; nine per cent speak Standard English with a regional accent [ 7;47]. What these figures suggest is, first and foremost, that the number of speakers of Standard English in England is very small, and secondly, that only 3% of the total population of England speak Standard English with an RP accent. All things considered, it is paramount that we end this section by examining the interrelationship between geographical variation and social variation in England. In order to fulfill this purpose, we shall refer to Trudgill's pyramidal illustration of these issues. [8; 30-3]

As already noted, Standard English is the language variety employed by those who have received a good education; hence, educated middle and upper classes. Since Standard English is not a fully homogeneous variety, it is not at all striking to find some small regional differences among educated speakers of this dialect. Nevertheless, as we proceed downwards in the social scale, we will find that regional differences among speakers increase gradually (precisely for this reason, some working-class dialects are so localized geographically and so difficult to understand).Concerning accent, we may observe that the rather flattened top of the dialectal pyramid turns into a clearly pointed top or peak. This change in shape may be explained by reference to the unique position of the RP accent; it is such a prestigious and educated accent that regional variation among those who use it (mainly upper class people) is non-existent.

2. Territorial and social dialects of Britain

2.1 Classification of the modern territorial dialects

Classification of modern English regional dialects presents serious difficulties, since their boundaries are characterized by a large fluctuation, and locales are increasingly invading the area of distribution of dialectal speech. One of the most serious effort was undertaken by Ellis. [4; 86] Although this classification is not without drawbacks, it is generally quite accurately reflects the dialect map of modern Britain and adopted as the basis of many dialects. In general, based on the scheme Ellisa A., modern English dialects can be classified as follows:

Table 1

Northern dialects

1) Northumberland, North Durham;

2) Southern Durham, most of Cumberland, Westmorland, North

Lancashire, hilly part of the West Riding of Yorkshire;

3) East Riding and North Riding of Yorkshire.

Medium dialects

1) Lincolnshire;

2) south-east Lancashire, sowing - East Cheshire, northern West Darbyshire;

3) northern-west Lancashire, southern, Ribble;

4) the average Lancashire, Isle of Man;

5) South Yorkshire;

6) most of Cheshire, North Staffordshire;

7) most of Darbyshire;

8) Nottinghamshire;

9) Flint and Denbigh;

10) east Shropshire, South Staffordshire, much of Warwickshire, South Darbyshire, Leicestershire.

Eastern dialects

1) Cambridgeshire, Rutland, North - East Northamptonshire;

2) most of Essex, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire middle part;

3) Norfolk and Suffolk;

4) most of Buckinghamshire;

5) Middlesex, South East Buckinghamshire, South Hertfordshire, South-West Essex.

Western dialects

1) the west and south Shropshire (to the west of the River Severn);

2) Herefordshire, except eastern part, Radnor, eastern Breknoka.

Southern dialects

1) part of the Pembrokeshire and Glamorganshire;

2) Wiltshire, Dorsetshire, northern and eastern part of the county Somersetshire, most of Gloucestershire, south-west of Devonshire;

3) a large part of the county Hampshire, Isle of Wight, the majority of Berkshire, southern part of Sussex, app. part of Sussex;

4) sowing. Gloucestershire east. Herefordshire, Worcestershire, southern part of the county of Warwickshire, North Oxfordshire, South-West Northamptonshire;

5) most of Oxfordshire;

6) north of Surrey, north-west of Kent,

7) most of the counties of Kent, East Sussex;

8) West Somersetshire, northern-east Devonshire;

9) East Cornwall, most of Devonshire;

10) West Cornwall.

One of the main features of contemporary British regional dialects (and dialects of other languages) is their conservatism.

These or other deviations from the literary standard due mostly not evolution, namely the lack of evolution: the dialects are still many language phenomena of different periods in the history of language, as well as various foreign-language bedding - Scandinavian, Norman, etc.

Another feature of modern English dialects is their variability at all language levels (phonetics, grammar and vocabulary in particular).

Many authors also point to the fact that the characteristic feature of a system of dialects so-called "redundancy". Have in mind, for example, such speed, used in Ireland as: It's sorry you will be instead of "You will be sorry" or paraphrases like "I do love" instead of "I love", used in the south-western counties, piling negatives in a phrase, etc.

As already mentioned above, the dialect - is a territorial or social dialect (language variants, used by one or another social group, or a group of people).

Social dialects include a number of functionally and structurally different phenomena:

1. Professional dialects - kind of social dialect, uniting people of one profession or one occupation. Slang (slang), dialects, consisting of more or less randomly chosen, modify and combine the elements of one or more natural languages and used (usually in oral communication) a particular social group to linguistic isolation, separation from the rest of the language community, sometimes as secret languages.

It may be noted such varieties of English slang, as:

a) the "reverse slang": for example, yob instead boy;

b) "central Slang": for example, ilkem instead of milk;

c) "rhyming slang": for example, artful dodger instead lodger;

g) the so-called "medical Greek": for example, douse-hog instead of house-dog.

All these types of slang are used to make language of a certain social group unclear for the uninitiated. With jargon is not specific distortion of existing words in the language, but also the numerous borrowings, the appearance of which is often modified so that they do not differ from the remaining words of the language.

Highly specialized nature of the jargon can be illustrated on the material of the vocabulary typical of various educational institutions: beyond the institutions specified vocabulary either not used or used in a different sense. For example, at Eton, the following jargon: scug "scrub", "scoundrel", tug "college student", in Westminster School: bag "milk", beggar "sugar", in Winchester College: to go continent "stay home", tug "tasteless", stale "normal, simple".

As rightly pointed out by Professor R.A Budagov, "public nature of language determines not only the conditions of his existence, but all of its features, especially its vocabulary and phraseology, grammar and style". [2; 210]

2. A special position among the social dialects of English is so-called slang. Under this concept is often summed up the most diverse phenomena of lexical and stylistic plan. Leading researcher English slang E. Partridge and his followers define slang as prevalent in the field of spoken very fragile, unstable, not codified, and often does erratic and random set of tokens that reflect social consciousness of people belonging to a particular social or professional environment. Slang is seen as a conscious, deliberate use of elements of common-literary vocabulary in spoken language in a purely stylistic purposes: to create the effect of novelty, unusual, different from the approved model, to transfer certain mood of the speaker, to give a concrete utterance, liveliness, expressiveness, precision, and, to avoid cliches. This is achieved, according to researchers, the use of such stylistic means as a metaphor (as Chesterton: "All slang is metaphor"), metonymy, synecdoche, litotes, euphemism.

Dialects and literary standard (exemplary, normalized language, rules which are perceived as "right" and generally binding and which is opposed to dialects and colloquialisms) is inextricably linked not only because it appears dialect based on the standard, but also because, as a rule, locale is formed on the basis of dialect speech. Literary standard of English is no exception: in the 15th century. Britain abounded presence of many different dialects, to the extent that, as the inflow of population from the countryside to the city, these dialects are more and more confused and as a result formed locale (can you say that, initially, it was a form of London south-eastern dialect). Over time, this language was improved and was recognized as the language that is spoken by the educated part of the population.

But it would be wrong to assume that the standard - is recorded form of pronunciation, which is not subject to change. The natural evolution of the language, as well as various extra linguistic factors lead to change and literary standard (but the process of change is very slow). Certain rules of language out of use and replaced by new ones because of the disappearance of one reality and the appearance of others.

The degree of deviation from the standard dialect speech standard is determined by several factors: the history and development of dialect, socio-economic structure of society, etc. In many cases, you can find the dialect speech language rules that are already out of use in the locale.

2.2 Comparison of British dialects


Cockney is probably the second most famous British accent. It originated in the East End of London, but shares many features with and influences other dialects in that region.


· Raised vowel in words like trap and cat so these sounds like "trep" and "cet."

· Non-rhoticity: see explanation above under Received Pronunciation, above.

· Trap-bath split: see explanation above under Received Pronunciation.

· London vowel shift: The vowel sounds are shifted around so that Cockney "day" sounds is pronounced IPA dж? (close to American "die") and Cockney buy verges near IPA b?? (close to American "boy").

· Glottal Stopping: the letter t is pronounced with the back of the throat (glottis) in between vowels; hence better becomes IPA be?? (sounds to outsiders like "be'uh").

· L-vocalization: The l at the end of words often becomes a vowel sound Hence pal can seem to sound like "pow." (I've seen this rendered in IPA as /w/, /o,/ and /?/.)

· Th-Fronting: The th in words like think or this is pronounced with a more forward consonant depending on the word: thing becomes "fing," this becomes "dis," and mother becomes "muhvah."

Estuary English (Southeast British)

Estuary is an accent derived from London English which has achieved a status slightly similar to "General American" in the US. Features of the accent can be heard around Southeast England, East Anglia, and perhaps further afield. It is arguably creeping into the Midlands and North.


· Similar to Cockney, but in general Estuary speakers do not front th words or raise the vowel in trap. There are few hard-and-fast rules, however.

· Glottal stoppingof `t' and l-vocalization (see above) are markers of this accent, but there is some debate about their frequency.

West Country (Southwest British)

West Country refers to a large swath of accents heard in the South of England, starting about fifty miles West of London and extending to the Welsh border.


· Rhoticity, meaning that the letter r is pronounced after vowels. So, for example, whereas somebody from London would pronounce mother as "muthah," somebody from Bristol would say "mutherrr". (i.e. the way people pronounce the word in America or Ireland).

· Otherwise, this is a huge dialect area, so there's tons of variation.

Midlands English

Midlands English is one of the more stigmatized of Englishes. Technically, this can be divided into East Midlands and West Midlands, but I won't get into the differences between the two just now. The most famous of these dialects is Brummie (Birmingham English).


· The foot-strut merger, meaning that the syllable in foot and could is pronounced with the same syllable as strut and fudge. (IPA ?).

· A system of vowels otherwise vaguely reminiscent of Australian accents, with short i in kit sometimes verging toward IPA kit ("keet") and extremely open "loose" dipthongs.

· A variety of unusual vocabulary: some East Midlands dialects still feature a variant of the word "thou!"

Northern England English

These are the accents and dialect spoken north of the midlands, in cities like Manchester, Leeds, and Liverpool. Related accents also found in rural Yorkshire, although there are some unique dialect features there that I won't get into now.


· The foot-stut merger: (see the Midlands description above).

· Non-rhoticity, except in some rural areas.

· The dipthong in words like kite and ride is lengthened so that kite can become something like IPA ka:?t (i.e. it sounds a bit like "kaaaait")

· Unique vocab includes use of the word mam to mean mother, similar to Irish English.


Geordie usually refers to both the people and dialect of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, in Northeast England. The word may also refer to accents and dialects in Northeast England in general. I would classify this as a separate region from the rest of Northern England because it's so radically different from the language spoken in nearby cities.


· The foot-stut merger(see the Midlands description above).

· Non-rhoticity (in the cities at least)

· The /ai/ dipthong in kite is raised to IPA ??, so it sounds a bit more like American or Standard British "kate."

· The /au/ dipthong in "about" is pronounced IPA u: (that is, "oo") in strong dialects. Hence bout can sound like "boot."

Welsh English

This refers to the accents and dialects spoken in the country of Wales. The speech of this region is heavily influenced by the Welsh language, which remained more widely spoken in modern times than the other Celtic languages.


· Usually non-rhotic.

· English is generally modelled after Received Pronunciation or related accents, but with many holdovers from the Welsh language.

· Syllables tend to be very evenly stressed, and the prosody of the accent is often very "musical".

· The letter r is often trilled or tapped.

· Some dialect words imported from the Welsh language.

Scottish English

This is the broad definition used to describe English as it is spoken in the country of Scotland. Note that Scottish English is different than Scots, a language derived from Northumbrian Old English that is spoken in Scotland as well. That being said, Scots has a strong influence on how English in Scotland is spoken.


· Rhotic, with trilled or tapped r's.

· Glottal stopping of the letter t when in between vowels (similar to Cockney and related accents).

· Monopthongal pronounciations of the /ei/ and /ou/ dipthongs, so that that face becomes IPA fe:s and goat becomes IPA go:t. [10]


dialect standart cockney british

In this term paper was given general overview of English dialects and their role in the linguistics. Dialect is a variety of a language spoken by a group of people and having features of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation that distinguish it from other varieties of the same language. Dialect is usually developed as a result of geographic, social, political, or economic barriers between groups of people who speak the same language. In addition to the purely communicative function of dialect as a variety of language, we should not overlook that dialect is also a powerful source of personal information, in the sense that the way we speak our language is highly influenced by both our social status and our region of origin.

The term paper has revealed the way of dialect creation and development. Also we have considered English dialect as composer of Standard English. Since the formation of a literary language of a people is usually a dialect of everyday communication. Literary same language could potentially operate in all areas of public life - in literature, in public administration, in schools, and science, in the production and life, at a certain stage of development of society, he has become a universal means of communication. The process is complex and diverse, as in it besides the standard language and dialects are involved intermediate forms of everyday conversation.

To sum up, the term paper has attempted to provide the reader with some insights into the influence of social values on dialectal variation in England. Unlike many other countries, England is an extraordinary example of the close relationship that there can exist between regional variation and social stratification. For many years, this relationship has been responsible for the misleading assumption that non-standard dialects are unpleasant deviations from the purity and beauty of the standard norm. Nevertheless, from what we have searched in this paper, it should be clear by now that linguistic judgments based on aesthetic values are to be completely discarded from any kind of linguistic discussion. The growing presence of some non-standard varieties in some of England's official institutions (e.g. the BBC) has been extremely beneficial to their widespread acceptance as linguistic varieties in their own right, and not as ungrammatical or incorrect deviations.


1. Аракин В. Д. История английского языка: Учеб. пособие для пед. ин-тов по спец. "Иностр. яз.". - М.: Просвещение, 1985

2. Будагов Р. А. Проблемы развития языка. - М.: Наука, 1965

3. Жирмунский В. М. Национальный язык и социальные диалекты. - Л., 1936

4. Ellis A. "Linguistics and time", 2004

5. Demo, D. "Dialects in education" (ERIC/CLL Resource Guide Online). Washington, DC: ERIC Clearinghouse on Language and Linguistics, 2000

6. GRADDOL, D. et al. (eds.) Changing English. London: Routledge, 2007

7. MELCHERS, G. & P. SHAW. World Englishes. London: Arnold, 2003

8. TRUDGILL, PSociolinguistics: An Introduction to Language and Society. London: Penguin, 2000[1974].

9. Wells, J.C.: Accents of English (3 vol.: Introduction; The British Isles;

Beyond the British Isles), CUP, 1982.

10. http://dialectblog.com/british-accents/

11. www.merriam-webster.com

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