The popular English Accents Name: Institution: THE POPULAR ENGLISH ACCENTS Introduction There are great variations in regional accents for English speakers across regions where the first language is English. This report seeks to research on the various pronunciation variations that are identifiable, deriving from the local dialect’s phoneme inventory (Giegerich, 2011: p22)…
Accent is descriptive of pronunciation and not vocabulary or grammar. English speakers who are not native to the UK tend to integrate the phonemic and intonation inventory into their English pronunciation from their mother tongue. Among the native speakers, there exist many accents. Some of these accents from specific regions, for example, the Pennsylvania Dutch English, can be identified easily by particular characteristics. There are further variations that can be found in the regions discussed in this report; for instance, the towns that are found less than 16 km from Manchester like Salford, Oldham, and Bolton posses varying accents that all form the collective Lancashire accent (Giegerich, 2011: p28). However, in extreme circumstances, they are different such as to be noticed by listeners, not from the area. People from various regions have a lot of room for misunderstanding; the manner in which one word’s pronunciation in a specific accent will sound different when said in another accent. For example, the word petal when pronounced in American English is different from its pronunciation as pearl by the Scottish. Methodology This research will utilize a methodology that was first used by Ainsfeld and Lambert in the late 50s and early 60s. The methodology was further refined by Bourhis and Giles and involves the important feature of matched guise that employs one person speaking in two accents that are different (Yan, 2009: p716). All attempts were made minimizing the paralinguistic variables like number of hesitations and reading speed. However, paralinguistic variations do occur, despite this minimization on these variables. Therefore, it was important to consider this, especially because of the monotonous reading style in the recordings. The practice voice used in the study was meant to familiarize the listeners with the questions they were to fill in the questionnaire found in the appendix. The study was interested in impressions that were created in listeners by the speaker. Often, it is possible to tell where the speaker is from using the voice alone, for instance, when one hears a stranger talk on the radio or even on the telephone. The listeners were given recordings of various speakers with the speaker saying similar things and were obligated to pay attention to the way the person sounded rather than the content of the speech (Yan, 2009: p717). After hearing each speaker, the subjects, were expected to take a moment to think and then answer the questions in the questionnaire according to their impression. The subjects were not expected to take too much time in answering but were, rather, expected to give their first impressions with no wrong or right answers (Yan, 2009: p717). Discussion The United Kingdom, probably, is the nation that is most obsessed with accents in the entire world. With accents that are believed to have been shaped through many years of history, few nations that speak English have as many varieties of the language in a space as small as the UK (Donn & james, 2011: p25). The following were the accents that were identified during the study. Received Pronunciation This accent is the closest we have to a standard accent in the United Kingdom. While it originated from London English, at present, it has no specific region of origin. This accent is especially common in Oscar Wilde plays, Merchant ivory films, and Jane Austen adaptations. Received ...
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