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SEMINAR 9




VARIANTS AND DIALECTS OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

 

1. The Main Variants of the English Language.

1.1. Variants of English in the United Kingdom

1.2. Variants of English outside the British Isles.

2. Some Peculiarities of British English and American English.

3. Local Dialects in Great Britain.

4. Local Dialects in the USA.

5. Social Variation of the English Language. Gender Issues.

 


Key words:Standard English, territorial variants, local dialects, British English, Scottish English, Irish English, American English, Canadian English, New Zealand English, South African English, Indian English, historical Americanisms, proper Americanisms, specifically American borrowings, American shortenings, African-American Vernacular English, Canadianisms, rhyming slang, Southern dialects, Cockney, Estuary English, Received Pronunciation (RP), Northern and Midlands dialects, Yorkshire dialect, pidgin, political correctness

 

 

TASKS

 

1. Match the italicized Scottish English words from the sentences with the corresponding Standard English words given in the box.

 

Model:She devoted her (anam) to helping others.

The corresponding Standard English word to the Scottish English word anam is life: She devoted her

life to helping others.

knot, conversation, packet, hole, journey, life, window. stone, knowledge, dignity, coffee

 

1. I‟ve heard you visited several European countries last summer. Did you like your (turus)? 2. Why did you throw a (artan) at the dog? It could bite you. 3. Ann faced the news of the catastrophe with (onoir). 4. Can you tie a (snaim) in the end of my thread? 5. Don't open the (uinneag). You can catch a cold. 6. Do you take sugar in your (uilm)? 7. A (pasgan) of brochures arrived in the post. 8. The teacher‟s comments are designed to help improve your (fios) and understanding. 9. Later in the evening, the (caig) turned to politics. 10. Workers dug a 30-foot (toll) in the ground.

11. She devoted her (anam) to helping others.

 

2. Replace the italicized Irish words with Standard English words from the box.

 

Model:Will you sit on the tolg, please, and wait for Peter coming.

The Irish word tolg can be replaced by the Standard English word sofa: Will you sit on the

sofa, please, and wait for Peter coming.

 

noise, basket, choice, thorn, distress (hardship),

sofa, rag, while, friend, wall, steam

 

1. I‟ll have to stop for a minute – I must have a dealg in my foot. 2. Wait till you see the gal off the kettle and then wet (pour boiling water on) the tea. 3. There is always some cruatan or other in that family – what is it with them? 4. There was a trup outside the door. 5. I haven‟t seen him for a tamall. 6. He drove straight through falla with the new car last night. 7. Where did you find that old balcais? 8. Get me a scib of turf for the fire. 9. Helga is a close cara of mine. 10. These people have the togha of whether to buy a house or rent one. 11. Will you sit on the tolg, please, and wait for Peter coming.

 


3. In the given sentences find words which are characteristic of American English. State whether they belong to the group of: a) historical Americanisms; b) proper Americanisms; c) specifically American borrowings.

 

Model: The truck pulled up near where two men were already standing by the edge of a deep canyon.

The word truck belongs to the group of proper Americanisms (b), while the word canyon is a specifically American borrowing (c).

1. Do you want to take the elevator or use the stairs? 2. We haven‟t heard from

him since last fall. 3. John has made his own pirogue and now wants to show it to his

friends. 4. If I am late I'll call you from a telephone booth. 5. I guess I‟ll never be able to explain what has happened between us. 6. I am very tired. I'd like to sleep in the hammock in the garden. 7. He stayed at home caring for his sick wife. 8. He left

the faucets running and the bath overflowed. 9. Have you ever seen a tomahawk used by North American Indians in war and hunting? 10. We went to the museum by

subway.

 

4. Distribute the words from the given series into three groups: a) words used in American English: b) words used in British English; c) words used in Australian English.

 

1) lollies – candy – sweets; 2) form – grade – year; 3) subway/metro – railway station – underground; 4) the cinema – the movies – the pictures; 5) letterbox – postbox – mailbox; 6) sneakers – trainers – runners; 7) sidewalk – footpath – pavement

 

5. Here are the examples of Cockney rhyming slang. Match the words given in the left column with the phrase given in the right column.

 

Model: cousin (2) – baker’s dozen (6)

 

1. believe 1. dog and bone

2. cousin 2. round the houses

3. phone 3. Tom and Dick

4. thief 4. Tomfoolery

5. sick 5. elephant‟s trunk

6. sister 6. baker’s dozen

7. trousers 7. plates of meat

8. talk 8. skin and blister

9. feet 9. north and south

10. nose 10. ones and twos

11. drunk 11. Adam and Eve

12. mouth 12. I suppose

13. shoes 13. two-and-eight

14. jewelry 14. tea leaf

15. state 15. rabbit and pork

 


6. Distribute the given words into two groups: a) words that are used in American English; b) words that are used in British English. Pay special attention tо their meanings.

 

Model:bill (for meal payment) – ‘a list of things eaten showing the total amount that must he paid’

The word bill is used in British English.

1) tuxedo – „a man‟s dinner jacket‟; 3) pram – „a four-wheeled carriage for a baby, pushed by a person on foot‟; 3) zip code – „a postal code consisting of five or nine digits‟; 4) chemist – „a person who is authorized to dispense medicine drugs‟;

5) vacation – „an extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling‟; 6) period – „a punctuation mark (.) used at the end of a sentence or an abbreviation‟; 7) tram – „a passenger vehicle powered by electricity conveyed by overhead cables, and running on rails laid in a public road‟; 8) apartment building – „a large building containing many apartments‟; 9) dust-bin –

„a container for household refuse, especially one kept outside‟; 10) motorway – „a

dual-carriageway road designed for fast traffic, with relatively few places for

joining or leaving‟; 11) gasoline – „a liquid obtained especially from petroleum, used mainly for producing power in the engines of cars, aircraft, etc.‟; 12) trolley (for shopping) – „a low two-wheeled or four-wheeled cart or vehicle, especially one pushed by hand‟; 13) flashlight – „a small electric light carried in the hand to give light‟; 15) car park – „an area or building where cars or other vehicles may be left temporarily‟.

 

7. Give analogous oppositions in the other variant of English to the words from task 6.

 

Model: bill

The analogous opposition to the British English word bill is the American English word

check.

 







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