Phonetics v intro


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Phonetics v intro

  1. 1. Phonetics V An introduction to accents Based upon Wells ...
  2. 2. What’s an accent? <ul><li>Pattern of pronunciation used by speakers (of English in this case) or the community or social group to which he/she belongs. </li></ul><ul><li>The use of particular vowel or consonant sounds and particular rythmic and intonational features. </li></ul><ul><li>The structural and systemic relationships between those features. </li></ul><ul><li>The phonological representations, and the articulations, together with the rules that relate one another. </li></ul><ul><li>And finally, the relationship between all these, as well as the individual words, or other items which constitute the speaker’s abstract (mental) awareness of the language. </li></ul>
  3. 3. In simpler words? <ul><li>It is characteristic of people belonging to some region and/or to a certain social group, and it may be typical of the speaker’s sex, age group, or “level of education”. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Can you produce a simpler explanation?
  5. 5. Borderlines of accents... <ul><li>Let’s see this exercise </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Sometimes speakers do not use only ‘a way of speaking’, but also ‘funny words’ </li></ul><ul><li>See the following.. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Dialects, varieties, traditional-dialect. <ul><li>Accent study comes across dialects. </li></ul><ul><li>The term dialect refers to a variety of a language that is characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers.The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors, such as social class. </li></ul><ul><li>A dialect is distinguished by its vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation (phonology, including prosody). </li></ul>
  8. 8. E.g. You must eat it up* <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>  tn </li></ul>* Different dialects saying ‘you must eat it up’.... What can you notice? Is it only a change in pronunciation? See Wells, ...
  9. 9. <ul><li>Some considerations: </li></ul><ul><li>A dialect is vaguely defined. </li></ul><ul><li>In linguistics the term is used to refer to any speech variety that is more than an idolect and less than a language. </li></ul><ul><li>a difference between varieties may involve any or all of syntax, morphology, lexicon, and pronunciation. </li></ul><ul><li>a difference of accent, in turn, is a difference between varieties of General English which involve only pronunciation. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Geography and varieties <ul><li>“ […] one important disctinction between speaking traditional-dialect and speaking General English with a given accent is […] a matter of the phonological specifications of lexical items, that is of the lexical incidence of particular phonemes in particular words.” </li></ul><ul><li>The first thing we notice about a person’s speech is where he comes from: where he grew up, and maybe where he currently lives (in very broad terms). </li></ul><ul><li>Accents are powerful indicators of geographical identity. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Geography and varieties <ul><li>A group of people sharing the same ‘accent’ may as well share experiences, cultural perspectives, historical backgrounds etc. </li></ul><ul><li>We might regard different accents of our same region, to be rough, rude, ugly, or nice, posh, well educated. All those conceptions, nevertheless, are geographically distinct and are constantly building up. </li></ul><ul><li>Regionality is seen not only from country to country, but also, from urban people to countryside people, from city to city, neighbourhood to neighborhood , etc </li></ul>
  12. 12. Socio-economic class <ul><li>There is a perceivable connection between cultural appreciation, language and social class (although it may not happen in all cultures) </li></ul><ul><li>Non-phonetic factors and phonemic factors might lead us to regard someone as to be from the lower, middle, higher or whatever class we can think of. </li></ul><ul><li>Studies have found that (in England) a person from a working class will speak with a greater regional ‘accent’ or will use his dialect more. All the opposite happens with a person from the upper class, who would use RP . </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>1972- a survey from an association called National Opinion Polls included the question: “Which of these (eleven factors) would you say are more important in being able to tell which class a person is? </li></ul><ul><li>The higher scores were: </li></ul><ul><li>1) The way they speak. </li></ul><ul><li>2) Where they live. </li></ul><ul><li>3) The friends they have. </li></ul>REGIONAL VARIATION Sº V A R I A T I O N
  14. 14. Sex, ethnicity <ul><li>Even though we have got a certain degree of choice over our socio-economic status (that is to say, we can accomodate our language and thus guide the interlocutor’s perspective towards a given perception of ourselves) we haven’t got it (up to the same extent at least) over our sex and ethnic identity. </li></ul><ul><li>Culture influences the ways in which men and women use language. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Sex, ethnicity <ul><li>In some cultures men and women are to use different patterns of pronunciation: </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. in Koasati ( Native American language of Muskogean origin) for the sentence “he will lift it” a man would pronounce it /  / and a woman would do it like /  /. In english these differences are not so notorious. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Studies performed both in the UK and the USA have shown that women, despite their socio-economic class (and thus their dialect-accent-traditional dialect) show greater tendency to use the prestige norm, “they tend to speak more standardize” (Wolfram 1969, Trudgill 1974, Le Page 1977) </li></ul><ul><li>At the same time, it’s supposed that women tend to use greater variation in intonation (due to their higher pitch perhaps) </li></ul>Sex, ethnicity
  17. 17. <ul><li>And also, it has been claimed that women tend to use more ‘tentative’ (typically rising tones) intonation patterns, so as to reflect their relative powerlessness and inferior status. </li></ul><ul><li>Some other features lie outside phonology, like the use of question tags, lexical choices, willingness to interrupt other people, etc… </li></ul><ul><li>All of these differences, though, lie on the cultural stands of the speakers. </li></ul>Sex, ethnicity
  18. 18. <ul><li>Research yet, has not been able to elucidate the possible correlation between sexual orientation and phonology. Nevertheless, there is noticeably, an empiric relationship between gender/role and allegiance . </li></ul><ul><li>There is no necessary relationship between language (dialect / accent) and racial or ethnic origin. “ a speaker’s language is determined by the linguistic environment in which he is raised or to which he subsequently becomes exposed, and so his pronunciation of it. </li></ul>Sex, ethnicity
  19. 19. Age <ul><li>The question here gets complex, because to define a dialect in terms of age, the factors to be considered are innumerable, and the discussion raises towards finding suitable definitions to dialect, variety, accent, jargon, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Empirically, there is a difference, though. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Standard <ul><li>Conforming to the established language usage of educated native speakers </li></ul><ul><li>In English is RP, or , Received Pronunciation </li></ul>
  21. 21. RP <ul><li>Received Pronunciation (RP)—also called the Queen's (or King's) English and BBC English—is the standard accent of Standard English in England, with a relationship to regional dialects similar to that of other European languages. </li></ul><ul><li>Although there is nothing intrinsic about RP that marks it as superior than any other variety, sociolinguistic factors give Received Pronunciation particular prestige in England and Wales. </li></ul><ul><li>What about Scotland and Northern Ireland? </li></ul><ul><li>From wikipedia </li></ul><ul><li>Further details see Wells (1999-2000) </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>RP use is socially advantageous over other English dialects within England but carries no &quot;special privileges&quot; outside England. Because of its formal nature, using RP in casual circumstances can give the impression that the speaker is overly ostentatious or pompous. </li></ul><ul><li>The word received conveys its original meaning of accepted or approved  – as in &quot;received wisdom&quot;. There have also long been certain words that have had more than one RP pronunciation, such as again , either , and moor </li></ul>RP
  23. 23. <ul><li>RP is an accent (a form of pronunciation) and not a dialect (a form of vocabulary and grammar as well as pronunciation). It may show a great deal about the social and educational background of a person who uses English. A person using the RP will typically speak Standard English although the reverse is not necessarily true (e.g. the standard language may be spoken by one in a regional accent, such as a Yorkshire accent; but it is very unlikely that one speaking in RP would use it to speak Scots or Geordie). </li></ul>RP
  24. 24. <ul><li>Migration to London in the 14th and 15th centuries was mostly from the counties directly north of London rather than those directly south. There are differences both within and among the three counties mentioned, but a conglomeration emerged in London, and also mixed with some elements of Essex and Middlesex speech. By the end of the 15th century, &quot;Standard English&quot; was established in the City of London. </li></ul>RP
  25. 25. R. P.
  26. 27. <ul><li>Transcript for Newport (RP) </li></ul><ul><li>Julian: It’s difficult really, cause there are two sides to me: one, I’m still appalled at the quality of what we build ourselves since, so that, you know, we’re keeping probably enough of the old, I mean, the centre, say, of Cardiff looks a great deal better now than it did when I first came to Wales. And, uhm, part of that’s, that’s the old and part of that’s the new build; the two of them have, have not been too badly; and part of it’s just improvements in the, sort of, pedestrianisation and the rest of it. And that’s, that’s been, that’s been quite, quite good, but yet, you know, the outer bits are just, you know, there’ll, there’ll be bad nineties as well as there’s bad eighties and bad seventies and bad sixties building and, and those kind of rings are getting bigger [...] </li></ul>
  27. 28. <ul><li>Commentary for Newport (RP) </li></ul><ul><li>Julian’s speech gives no clues to his age, occupation or where he comes from. And yet it is instantly recognisable and leads us to assume he is from a middle-class, well-educated background. His accent conforms to what we might term mainstream RP. In other words, he does not deviate from the currently accepted pronunciation conventions as recorded in dictionaries and as taught to foreign students. </li></ul><ul><li>Elegant and sophisticated </li></ul><ul><li>Many commentators would use adjectives such as ‘well-spoken’ or ‘elegant’ to describe this accent. Such value judgements are not based on linguistic criteria, as speakers of all accents can demonstrate eloquence and sophistication. But the fact that this attitude remains widespread shows the status RP still holds for many people. </li></ul>