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Regional Dialect Variation within the United States of America

Seminararbeit 2004 12 Seiten

Amerikanistik - Linguistik

Leseprobe

Table of contents

1. Introduction

2. The sounds of American English
2.1. Consonant phonemes
2.2. Vowel phonemes

3. American English dialect regions

4. The South
4.1. The origins of Southern American English
4.2. Characteristics of the regional variety of the South
4.2.1. The retroflex /r/
4.2.2. The r-coloring
4.2.3. Voiced fricative /z/ versus unvoiced fricative /s/
4.2.4. Light /l/ versus dark /ɫ/
4.2.5. The approximant /j/

5. Eastern New England
5.1 The origins of the variety spoken in Eastern New England
5.2. Characteristics of the regional variety of Eastern New England
5.2.1. The retroflex /r/
5.2.2. The r-coloring
5.2.3. [hw] and [w]
5.2.4. The approximant /j/

6. The Central Midland
6.1 The origins of the variety spoken in the Central Midland
6.2. Characteristics of the regional variety of the Central Midland
6.2.1. The retroflex /r/
6.2.2. Voiced fricative /z/ versus unvoiced fricative /s/
6.2.3. The approximant /j/

7. Conclusion

References

1. Introduction

I chose to take a closer look at the different dialect regions within the United States of America because during the last semester at university I had been trying to adopt the American English accent into my own speech, and I wanted to learn where all the things the teachers had told l me to do had their origins.

At first I wanted to deal with each and every of the ten dialect regions within the US, looking at all the phonemes which in some way characterized them. After I had done some research I learned that this way I would have had to spend a year on that paper, instead of the planned two months. So I decided to concentrate only on three Northern American dialect regions: Eastern New England, the South and the Central Midland.

After writing the first part of my paper, including the study on the dialect spoken in the South, I found out that my topic was still too big. That was why I made the final decision to leave out the vowels in my study and to concentrate mainly on consonants, with the exception of the r-coloring. This turned out to be a research field easily big enough for my first paper of that kind.

2. The sounds of American English

2.1. Consonant phonemes

illustration not visible in this excerpt

The consonant sounds of American English can be classified according to how and where they are produced:

illustration not visible in this excerpt

The /h/ sound is often described as a voiceless vowel. When producing the /h/, the mouth is already in the position of the following vowel, but there is no vibration of the vocal coards, which would be when producing a vowel.

Typical of Standard American English in contrast to Standard British English is the use of the so called ‘flapped /t/’. In words like ‘better’, ‘butter’, ‘city’, ‘Seattle’, ‘daughter’, the /t/ is voiced and articulated at the tooth ridge like a /d/, but much shorter. The symbol indicating a flapped /t/ is [t].

Even though there is only one phonetic symbol for the /l/ sound, in Standard American English there are two different ways of pronouncing it. When pronouncing a word like ‘lead’, the tip of the tongue touches the tooth ridge. This /l/ sound is referred to as ‘light /l/’. When pronouncing a word like ‘deal’, the tip of the tongue does not touch the tooth ridge, but the back of the tongue is raised towards the soft palate. This /l/ sound is called the ‘dark /l/’. The symbol representing a dark /l/ is [ɫ].

2.2. Vowel phonemes

In American English there are twelve phonetic symbols describing the vowel sounds:

illustration not visible in this excerpt

[...]

Details

Seiten
12
Jahr
2004
ISBN (eBook)
9783638543040
Dateigröße
482 KB
Sprache
Englisch
Katalognummer
v60698
Institution / Hochschule
Universität Wien
Note
Gut
Schlagworte
Regional Dialect Variation United States America English Linguistics Introductory Seminar

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Titel: Regional Dialect Variation within the United States of America