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General American Pronunciation


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МИНИСТЕРСТВО ОБРАЗОВАНИЯ И НАУКИ РФ

ФГБОУ ВПО «Ишимский государственный педагогический институт им. П.П. Ершова»



Историко-филологический факультет

Кафедра иностранных языков









Реферат

на тему:



General American Pronunciation



Работу выполнил:

студентка 3 курса, 701 группы,

историко-филологического факультета,

отделения иностранных языков

Иванова Ксения Анатольевна

Работу проверил:

старший преподаватель

кафедры иностранных языков

Некоз Владимир Васильевич






Ишим

2013г



Content:

  1. Introduction………………………………………………………………….......3

  2. General American Pronunciation………………………………………………4

  3. The main types of American pronunciation…………………………………...7

  4. The main differences between Received Pronunciation and General American pronunciation………………………………………………………...9

  5. Conclusion………………………………………………………………………13

  6. Bibliography…………………………………………………………………….14





















Introduction

England, America, and Australia will be speaking mutually unintelligible languages owing to their independent changes of pronunciation.”

Henry Sweet

More than 300 million people in the world today speak English as their mother tongue, and many differences between varieties of English do exist. But the differences in terms of vocabulary, grammar, or spelling are remarkably small compared with differences of accent. Accent is the term which linguists use when they refer to the pronunciation features typical of people who belong to the same geographical region or social class; speakers’ accents may also reflect their age, sex, level of education, etc. It is difficult to say exactly how many accents of English there are. Even within the United Kingdom, there are accents as varied as Scottish English, Irish English, Welsh English, Cockney, a newly-emerged accent called Estuary English, and many others. But as far as the teaching of English pronunciation to foreign learners is concerned, the choice of a model accent has traditionally been limited to what can be considered the two “standard” accents in Great Britain and the USA.














General American Pronunciation

In the United States, this is an accent called General American, or GA. In fact, the label “General American” covers a range of accents which don’t exhibit any Eastern or Southern local colouring. General American is the pronunciation used by the majority of the population of the United States and by most US radio and TV announcers. It is also the model accent used in teaching English in such parts of the world as Central and South America, the Philippines, etc.

In Britain, the accent traditionally considered to be the standard pronunciation model is known under the somewhat strange name Received Pronunciation, or RP (where “Received” is interpreted as meaning “generally accepted”). It is regarded as the appropriate pronunciation model to be used in teaching English as a foreign language in those parts of the world where British rather than American English is traditionally taught. Although it is sometimes associated with the way educated people in the south-east of England speak, RP is generally considered to be regionally “neutral”: it is not an accent typical of any particular geographical region in Britain, and can be heard anywhere in the country. Languages, spoken by more than one nation, have several national variants of standard pronunciation. One of such languages is English. As a result of the colonial expansion of British Empire, the English language spread from the British Isles to all the continents of the earth, and as the colonies and dominions gained their independence and attained nationhood English became the national language of several countries, such as the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand and the greater part of Canada. It is native to many who live in India, Israel, Malta, Ceylon, the Republic of South Africa.

All the English-speaking nations have their own standard variants of English pronunciation, which possess many features in common, because they are of common origin. At the same time, they acquire varying number of differences due to the new conditions of their development after separation from the British English and to the degree of their connection with the British English after that separation.

Thus, there are the following national variants of Standard English pronunciation:

1) Australian pronunciation standard;

2) New Zealand pronunciation standard;

3) American pronunciation standard;

4) Canadian pronunciation standard.

New Zealand and Australian types of pronunciation are British-based standards. Canadian pronunciation standard exhibits features common with American English and British English. Like American speakers, most Canadians use the retroflex [r] and dark [l] in all positions and pronounce [æ] in place of [α:]. Some scholars consider Canadian pronunciation American based standard .

The major difference in American and English pronunciation is in intonation and voice timbre. Americans speak with less variety of tone than the English. American voice timbre seems harsh or tinny to the English, their's gurgling or throaty to Americans. English conclusion: Americans speak shrilly, monotonously, and like a schoolboy reciting. American conclusion: the English speak too low, theatrically, and swallow their syllables.

The more precise differences include:

Americans pronounce the a in such words as ask, brass, can't, dance, fast, grass, half, last, and path as a short, fiat [a]; the English pronounce it more as the broad [a:] in father. American shorter, flatter [a] is just a continuation of the way first colonists from Southern England pronounced it; the English dropped this pronunciation in the 18th century and began to use the broad [a:] (this same change took place in parts of New England and the South, giving some Americans the pronunciation of aunt as "ahnt" and vase as "vahz").

On the other hand, most Americans sound the short [ o ] in such words as box, hot, lot, not, pot, and top almost as the broad [a:] in father, while the English (and some New Englanders) give it a more open sound, with the lips rounded.

And some are just unique pronunciations of individual words. Such miscellaneous differences in pronunciations include:

ate, Americans say "eight"—"et" is an accepted English pronunciation.

been, Americans say "bin"—the English say "bean."

clerks- "dark."

either, neither, most Americans say, "e-ther, ne-ther"—"I-ther, nither" is the English pronunciation.

issue, Americans say "ish-you"—the English say "is-sue."

leisure, most Americans say "le-sure"—the English say "laysure."

lieutenant, Americans say "lew-tenant"—the English say "lef-tenant."

nephew, Americans say "nef-hew"—the English say "nev-hew."

schedule, Americans say "sked-ule"—the English say "shed-ule."























The main types of American pronunciation.

In the United States there may be distinguished three main regional variants of standard pronunciation:

1)the Eastern type of standard pronunciation;

2)the Southern type of standard pronunciation;

3)the Western (Midwestern, Northern, Central Western) type of standard pronunciation.

The Eastern type is spoken along the East coast of New England and in New York City; it bears a close resemblance to the Southern English pronunciation which is explained by close contacts of the New England States with Britain during the colonization of America. But there are, of course some slight differences.

The Southern type is spoken in the South and South-East of the USA. Its most striking distinctive feature is the so called Southern drawl, which is a specific way of pronouncing vowels, consisting in the diphthongization of some simple vowels and monophthongization of some diphthongs at the expense of prolonging (“drawling”) their nuclei and dropping the glides (ex. that [ðæiet] ,cute [kjuət], fine [fα:n]). Southern American pronunciation has some features in common with RP, such as the dropping of [r] after [з:], and [ə] the use of clear [l] before a vowel and others. Some linguists consider Southern American pronunciation non-standard, as it is peculiar only to that part of the country and has not spread north.

The Western American is spoken in the central Atlantic States: New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin and others. It is not only the most widespread type, but also, like RP in Great Britain, the least regional in character, which is why this type of pronunciation is called General American (GA). It is close to modern Northern British Pronunciation.

These three dialects posses certain features in common that are characteristic of American pronunciation in the whole. But GA pronunciation is the national pronunciation standard of the USA, as it is the form of speech used by radio and television, in scientific, cultural and business intercourse. Besides in two important business centers – New York and St. Louis – GA is the prevailing form of speech and pronunciation, though New York is situated within the territory where Eastern American is used, and St. Louis is within the region of Southern American.























The main differences between Received Pronunciation and General American pronunciation.

The most significant differences between GA and RP are:

a) within the consonant system;

b) within vowel system;

c) within the accentual system;

d) within the intonation system.

a) Consonants.

The phoneme [l] exists in GA only in the form of its dark variant [l], which is slightly darker than the RP dark [l] and occurs both before vowels and [j] in which positions clear variants are used in RP and after a vowel or between a vowel and a consonant (as in RP):

Ex. RP GA

look [luk] [luk]

In GA the intervocalic [t] as in “pity” and [t] between a strongly stressed vowel and a sonorant as in ‘partly’ is most normally voiced. The result is neutralization of the opposition between [t] and [d] in this position (ex. latter – ladder). The original distinction is preserved through vowel length with the vowel before [t] being shorter.

GA speakers may drop [l] in words like “twenty”, “little”. Thus “winner” and “winter” may sound identical.

In the pronunciation of GA [r] the top of the tongue is curled back further than in RP so that a wider air passage is formed. This process is called retroflexion. However, when preceded by [t, d, θ, ∫] the phoneme [r] is articulated in both GA and RP almost identically. In pre-vocalic position [r] in GA is accompanied by lip-rounding. The phoneme [r] of GA differs from its RP counterpart not only in articulation, but also in distribution, since it is pronounced between a vowel and before a consonant or after a vowel in the word final position (ex. turn [tз:rn], bird [bз:rd], star [stα:r]).

The sonorant [j] is usually weakened or omitted by GA speakers between a consonant (especially a forelingual one) and [u:] (ex. news [nu:z], student ['stu:dənt], suit [su:t], tube [tu:b], stupid ['stu:pid] etc.).

The use of the cluster [hw] in words spelt with the initial diagraph “wh” makes in GA sound differently such words as “which” and “witch”, “whether” and “weather”, “where” and “ware”, which are considered homophones in RP.

b) Vowels.

In GA there is no strict division of vowels into long and short. According to D. Jones, all American vowels are long.

The distinction between monophthongs and diphthongs in GA is not very concrete. Some diphthongs have monophthongs as their phonemic variants, some monophthongs have diphthongs as their phonemic variants. Russian phoneticians distinguish five diphthongs in GA [ei, ai, oi, au, əu].

Glottal stop is made by GA speakers before initially stressed vowels (ex. in India).

The nasalization of GA vowels when they are preceded or followed by a nasal sonorant is called an American twang. It results from the lowering of the soft palate while the vowel is pronounced (ex. man, manner, candy, fine, small, name, etc.).

GA speakers use the [æ] phoneme in many words which have the vowel [α:] in RP (Ex. ask [æsk], past [pæst], dance [dæns], path [pæθ] etc.).

In all words which have the [o] in RP the [Λ] phoneme is pronounced in GA (ex. hot [hΛt], rock [rΛk], bother [bΛðə], dog [dΛg] etc.).

In unstressed position the vowel [ə] is pronounced in GA and corresponds to [əu] and [i] in RP.

Ex. RP GA

fellow ['feləu] ['felə]

tomorrow [tə'morəu] [tə'mΛrə]

Non systematic difference between GA and RP involve pronunciation of individual words or groups of words.

Ex. RP GA

either ['aiðə] ['i:ðə]

tomato [tə'mα:təu] [tə'meitə]

c) Accent.

In words of French origin GA tends to have stress on the final syllable, where RP has it on the initial one.

Ex. RP GA

ballet ['bælei] [bæ'lei]

Some words have first syllable stress in GA whereas in RP the stress may be elsewhere.

Ex. RP GA

address [əd'res] ['ædrəs]

adult [æ'dΛlt] ['ædΛlt]

Some compound words have stress on the first element in GA and in RP they retain it on the second element.

Ex. RP GA

week'end 'weekend

ice-'cream 'ice-cream

Polysyllabic words, ending in -ory, -ary, -mony, have tertiary stress in GA (ex. laboratory, dictionary, secretary, testimony).

d) Intonation.

GA intonation differs from RP intonation mainly in unemphatic, or emotionally neutral speech. The English speech for Americans sounds “affected” and “pretentious” or “sophisticated”. And for the English Americans sound “dull”, “monotonous”, “indifferent”. The monotony of GA intonation is explained by the following factors:

1) pitch characteristics (since pre-nuclear contour in RP is gradually descending in GA it is mid-level);

2) narrow range of the utterance (in GA the voice doesn’t fall to the bottom);

3) stow tempo;

4) complicated rhythmical structure of intonation (the unstressed syllables in RP gradually descend, the unstressed syllables in GA fall to a lower pitch, besides RP unstressed vowels are characterized by qualitative reduction, while GA sounds in unstressed syllables are lengthened).

GA general questions take a falling tone, in RP they are pronounced with the rising tone. The rising tone in GA general question is used to show politeness. Requests and leave-takings in RP are usually pronounced with a Rise, whereas in GA they may take a Fall-Rise.




















Conclusion:

General American, like British Received Pronunciation and most standard language varieties of many other societies, has never been the accent of the entire nation. However, it has become widely spoken in many American films, TV series, national news, commercial ads, and American radio broadcasts.

General American is also the accent typically taught to people learning English as a second language in the United States, as well as outside the country to anyone who wishes to learn "American English". In much of Asia and some other places English as second language teachers are strongly encouraged to teach American English no matter their own origins or accents.




















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Краткое описание документа:

More than 300 million people in the world today speak English as their mother tongue, and many differences between varieties of English do exist. But the differences in terms of vocabulary, grammar, or spelling are remarkably small compared with differences of accent. Accent is the term which linguists use when they refer to the pronunciation features typical of people who belong to the same geographical region or social class; speakers’ accents may also reflect their age, sex, level of education, etc. It is difficult to say exactly how many accents of English there are. Even within the United Kingdom, there are accents as varied as Scottish English, Irish English, Welsh English, Cockney, a newly-emerged accent called Estuary English, and many others. But as far as the teaching of English pronunciation to foreign learners is concerned, the choice of a model accent has traditionally been limited to what can be considered the two “standard” accents in Great Britain and the USA.

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Дата добавления 17.05.2015
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Подраздел Другие методич. материалы
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