Languages, Dialects, Accents

by LoveUniHateExams 180 Replies latest jw friends

  • LoveUniHateExams

    Just though I'd start a thread devoted to languages, dialects/sociolects and accents, with the idea being that posters can comment on any language, or dialect or accent of any language, on this thread.

    Any phrases, expressions or idioms that you find interesting are also welcome.

    First, the subject of English accents came up on another thread.

    The British Isles have many different types of accent (although many of the dialects may be dying out), and if I start to take a closer look, I can't help but see 'patterns' ...

    In Received Pronunciation of standard English, the letter r is pronounced initially, between vowels, and after consonants, e.g. red, arrow, break. This type of r sound is called a post-alveolar approximant, apparently.

    In addition to the places in a word mentioned above, some accents also pronounce the letter r as a retroflex sound, before consonants and at the end of words, e.g. third, car. In Bolton, where I live, I sometimes hear this sound pronounced before consonants (north, thirty) but not at the end of words (car).

    In England, at least, this sound occurs often in the west of the country - West Country accents, Lancashire accents, but rarely - if at all - in the east. It's not pronounced in Geordie, or Yorkshire accents (or is it?), or the Norwich accent, or London or Kentish, as far as I know. I don't know where it occurs north of the border - Scottish accents have both the retroflex r and the trilled or rolled r.

    So why this apparent pattern? Are western English accents influenced by Irish accents? Or is it evidence that an extinct language that was once spoken in areas of Western England featured the retroflex r and influenced certain accents of English that eventually supplanted it (what linguists call a substratum)? Or is this variation among English accents simply a reflection of the different accents, speech patterns and dialects of the Anglo-Saxon tribes which colonised Britannia in the 4th/5th centuries?

    Yes, I'm a language geek.

  • smiddy

    Arent their more than 40 different dialects spoken in Italy ? Why would this be so in such a small country?

    This could be an interesting thread.

  • Diogenesister

    Interesting. I have a few questions and comments.

    Do you remember the old Hovis add? With the young lad pushing his bike up a hill With cobbled streets?( iirc). The man talking had a very particular accent. Lancashire? Are these the second "r" pronounciation's you describe? Very interesting that they may be a hangover of old languages.

    What is a sociolect? Each generation of children seem to have their very own particular words or phrasing that no other does, is this what you mean?

    For Americans Always wonder about the accents of other countries. For example Sam Herd sounds a bit like a cowboy to me, where is his accent from? How about Stephen Lett with his " projick's "( projects).where is his accent from? I imagine newer countries are gaining accents, just as older ones are loosing them. I could be wrong

    My sister-in-laws family speak only what they call ' dialect" in southern Italy. I've never understood the difference between dialect and accent. For instance, patois in Jamaican is still English, so I would call it an accent. Is that so for French patois? Or is it a dialect?

    Sorry they are not very intellectual questions!Just my musings.😋

  • LoveUniHateExams

    Arent their more than 40 different dialects spoken in Italy ? Why would this be so in such a small country? - I don't know.

    I know that Italy has dialects, some either partially mutually intelligible or mutually unintelligible. Before the unification of Italy in the 19th century, there were different city-states and republics. May be these were split along dialect lines?

    Or maybe the terrain played a part in the preservation of dialects? Switzerland - an even smaller country - has many dialects of German and some dialects of Romansch (languages derived from Latin), isolated and preserved by the valleys and alpine terrain. Perhaps a similar thing occurred with Italian dialects? I'm clutching at straws, here ...

  • LoveUniHateExams

    What is a sociolect? - it is a dialect associated with a certain socioeconomic class, or age group, or ethnic group, apparently.

    I've never understood the difference between dialect and accent - ok, take speech in Newcastle.

    A Geordie (person from Newcastle) can say "when you go home, you know where our mother's house is, don't you?" with a Geordie accent.

    Alternatively, he could say the same using dialect words, something like "when ya gan hyem, ya knaa where wor mam's hoose is, divvn't ya?"

    It's difficult to do an example in English because English dialects are dead or dying out.

  • zeb

    Once there were different accents to be heard in Australia. Queenslanders would speak slow steady, Northern Territory would often add "eh" at the end of every sentence, eh.

    Those from Melbourne would produce a slight American "r'. Sydney siders would speak very quickly.

    Tasmanians carried a slightly English accent and west Australians' would too. so im told. Bu that varies according to locale.

    Airgun javagoodwekend is translated as 'How are you going (did) you have a good weekend.'I said once there were accents as tv with its mainly American shows since the 50's has put an end to so many accents and ways of speaking. As kids we said 'footpath' todays youth use 'sidewalk' etc.

    If you venture hear we will understand you but don't try to mimic us.



  • smiddy

    zeb ,i`m not so sure aussies fit this criteria OP in as much as we aussies tend to be more lazy in our speech.

    I dont think 2-3 hundred years by whites in australia would/have produced very much difference in dialect

    I have only lived in Victoria and Queensland both for many years and the differences are minimal .their is certainly no problem understanding anybody from any of the states that exist in Australia.

    I think the example you give demonstrates that , as does , owyagoin ,gday

    .Certain states have different words for the same thing such as port in Qld ,school bag in Vict. meridian strip in Qld. and nature strip in Vict. but again I dont think that is what the OP meant

  • Phizzy

    I love listening to accents, and U.K accents give me lots of fun taking the piss out of them for not saying things "properly", i.e as I do of course, with my Southern English/slightly Kentish accent.

    In this area there is a semi "posh" accent which grates on me, where "food" is pronounced "fude" for example.

    Certain Northern accents pronounce the word "home" as "horm", this does not grate on me, it simply makes me smile, as does the pronunciation of "look" and " Luke" as homophones.

    What annoys me is lazy speech, where "brought" for example is pronounced with a silent R, by many in the Media even ! They don't leave it out in another tense of the word and say "bing that over here" do they ?

    As to Dialects I think true dialects are virtually another language in a lot of places, or were, we tend to speak of "dialect" when encountering a heavy accent accompanied by a few esoteric local words, but these are more the remnants of true dialects.

    Dialects are dying out fast in many places due to T.V etc, and even accents are mellowing in many cases. Sad in a way, we are losing links to our Past as they fade away.

  • stillin

    This may be everywhere, but when I catch myself doing it I try to remember to correct myself.

    The front yard is NOT the frontchard.

    I'll get you to the train. NOT getchu.

    And so on...

  • zeb

    smiddy, point taken.

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