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Accent and dialect

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  • 1. Accent/Dialect When English may as well be a foreign language
  • 2. What do they mean?
    • Take one minute to discuss with the person next to you how you would define:
    • Accent
    • Dialect
  • 3. Definitions:
    • Accent – a distinctive mode of pronunciation associated with a nation, locality or social class.
    • Dialect – a form of a language particular to a region or group, with a focus on grammar and lexis
  • 4. Discussion
    • Can someone’s accent cause prejudice? When? Which ones?
    • Do we link certain accents to certain classes?
    • Why is accent/dialect often used as inspiration for comedy?
  • 5. Accent in Comedy
    • Stephen K Amos
    • How does Amos use accent/dialect and stereotypes in his humour?
  • 6. What do you know?
    • Write down all the English accents you think you could identify. How many do you know?
    • Now watch the YouTube clip and write down all of the accents that you hear ( Stop at 4:10)
    • Now add any English accents which are found outside the UK and Ireland.
    • Next to the accents jot down anyone famous you think of who has that accent.
    • Duncan's many accents
  • 7. What’s the difference?
    • Listen to the range of accents again, this time focus on what is different between each one. What EXACTLY is the speaker doing to change the way his voice sounds?
  • 8. Trainspotting
    • Trainspotting is the first novel by Scottish writer Irvine Welsh. It is written in the form of short chapters narrated in the first person by various residents of Leith, Edinburgh, who either use heroin, are friends of the core group of heroin users, or engage in destructive activities that are implicitly portrayed as addictions that serve the same function as heroin addiction. The novel is set in the late 1980s and has been called "The voice of punk, grown up, grown wiser and grown eloquent".
  • 9. Trainspotting
    • What features of accent and dialect can be found in this extract?
    • Look at:
    • Phonetic spelling
    • Non-standard grammar
    • Different lexis
  • 10.
    • Ma boys don't live as close tae the surface as maist people's. When it came, ah savoured the hit. Ali wis right. Take yir best orgasm, multiply the feeling by twenty, and you're still fuckin miles off the pace. Ma dry, cracking bones are soothed and liquefied by ma beautiful heroine's tender caresses. The earth moved, and is still moving. Alison is telling us that ah should go and see Kelly, who's apparently been really depressed since she hud the abortion. Although her tone's no really judgemental, she talks as if ah hud something tae dae wi Kelly's pregnancy n its subsequent termination.
    • -How should ah go n see her? It's goat nowt tae dae wi me, ah sais defensively.
    • -Yir her friend, ur ye no?
    • Ah'm tempted tae quote Johnny n say that we wir aw acquaintances now. It sounds good in ma heid: 'We are all acquaintances now'. It seems tae go beyond our personal junk circumstances; a brilliant metaphor for our times. Ah resist the temptation. Instead ah content masel wi making the point that we wir aw Kelly's friends, and questioning why ah should be singled oot fir visiting duties.
    • -Fuck sake Mark. Ye ken she's really intae ye.
    • Kelly? Away tae fuck! ah say, surprised, intrigued, and mair than a wee bit embarrassed. If it is true ah'm a blind and stupid arsehole.
    • -Course she is. She's telt us tons ay times. She's eywis oan aboot ye. It's Mark this, Mark that.
    • Hardly anybody calls us Mark. It's usually Rents, or worse, the Rent Boy....
  • 11. Dialect
    • If accent is about how different English speakers sound, dialect is about the different lexis and grammar they use.
    • There are variations of words used in different regions for the same every day object or activity.
    • Match up the examples on the next slide…
  • 12. Bread-roll Sandwich Police Plimsoles Alley Pumps Cob Snicket Butty Bizzies
  • 13. Grammar variation in dialect
    • Annotate the following on the table using the centre column, circling the word/part of the sentence that is different:
    • N – use of negatives
    • V – different use of verbs
    • W – different word order
    • T – tag word/question/phrase
    • E – extra word
    • M – word missed out
    • P – different preposition
    • S – one word swapped for another
    • SP – change of spelling
  • 14. Extras: Accents on TV
    • Ness in Gavin and Stacey
    • Mrs Doyle in Father Ted