:

. Regional variation of pronunciation in the south-west of England






|open [wupen] | | |

|w before r |

|is not pronounced |Western |is not pronounced |

| |> [vr]: | |

| |wreck, wren, wrench, | |

| |wrap, write, wrong | |

| |e.g. Ye vratch, yeve | |

| |vrutten that avrang. | |

| |(= You wretch, youve | |

| |written that all wrong.)| |

|wh at the beginning of a word is [w], [u:], [u?] |

|in the middle of a word [w] is pronounced |

|boy [bwo], moist [mw ?st], toad [twud], cool [kwul], country [kw?ntr?] |

|f, th, s, sh are voiced |

|Friday [vr:d?], friends [vr?n(], fleas [vle:z], and in the these words: |

|foe, father, fair, fear, find, fish, foal, full, follow, filth, fist, fire, |

|fond, fault, feast, force, forge, fool. |

|[?]: thought [ :t], thick [?k], thigh [a?], and in the words: from, |

|freeze, fresh, free, friend, frost, frog, froth, flesh, fly flock, flood, |

|fleece, fling, flower, fail. |

|t at the beginning of the word before a vowel |

|Nothern | | |

|> [t?]: | | |

|team [t?em], | | |

|tune [t?un], | | |

|Tuesday [t?uzde] | | |

|East D t in the middle| | |

|of the word is voiced: | | |

|bottle [b dl], | | |

|kettle [kedl], | | |

|little [l?dl], | | |

|nettle [nedl], | | |

|bottom [b dm], | | |

|matter [med?], | | |

|cattle [k dl], | | |

|kittens [k?dnz] | | |

|t in the middle of the word is voiced |

| | |Western |

| | |bottle [b dl], |

| | |kettle [kedl], |

| | |little [l?dl], |

| | |nettle [nedl], |

| | |bottom [b dm], |

| | |matter [med?], |

| | |cattle [k dl], |

| | |kittens [k?dnz] |

|The consonant [t] in (the French borrowings) hasnt become [t?] as it is in |

|RP: |

|picture [p?kt?r], nature [net?r], feature [f??t?r] |

|the middle [t] sometimes disappears in the positions before ml, nl, |

|mr |

| |Western | |

| |brimstone [br?msn] | |

| |empty [emp?] | |

| |The same happens to the | |

| |middle [b]: | |

| |chamber > chimmer, | |

| |embers > emmers, | |

| |brambles > brimmels | |

|between l and r; r and l; n and r a parasitic [d] has developed |

|parlour [pa:ld?r], tailor [ta?ld?r], smaller [sm :ld?r], curls |

|[ka:dlz], hurl [a:dl], marl [ma:dl], quarrel [kw :dl], world [wa:dl], |

|corner [ka:nd?r] |

| | |Western |

| | |a parasitic [d] appeared|

| | |after [l, n, r]: |

| | |feel [fi:ld] |

| | |school [sku:ld] |

| | |idle [a?dld] |

| | |mile [ma?dl] |

| | |born [ba?nd] |

| | |soul [s :ld] |

| | |soon [zu:nd] |

| | |gown [gaund] |

| | |swoon [zaund] |

| | |wine [wa?nd] |

| | |miller [m?l?d] |

| | |scholar [sk l?d] |

|the middle [d] in the word needle comes after [l]: [ni:ld] |

| |Eastern | |

| |In the word disturb | |

| |[b] is pronounced as [v]| |

| |- | |

| |[dis, t?:v] | |

|the first [?] is pronounced as [] |

|thank [?k] and in other words: thatch, thaw, thigh, thin, thing, think, |

|third, thistle, thong, thought, thousand, thumb, thunder, Thursday |

| |Sometimes [?] is | |

| |pronounced as [t] at the| |

| |end of the word: | |

| |lath [lat] | |

| | |Western |

| | |In some words [s] at the|

| | |beginning of the word is|

| | |pronounced as [?]: |

| | |suet [?u?t]. |

| | |The same happens when |

| | |[s] is in the middle of |

| | |the word: |

| | |first [fer?t] |

| | |breast [br??t] |

| | |next [n??t] |

| | |North-West W: [s] is |

| | |sometimes pronounced as |

| | |[(]: sure [(u?r] |

|sh, sk at the end of the word |

| |Western | |

| |> [s]: | |

| |cask [k s] | |

| |flask [fl s] | |

| |leash [li:s] | |

| |tusk [tus] | |

| |Sometimes instead of [k]| |

| |[t?] is heard: | |

| |back [b t?] | |

| |wark [wa:t?] | |

|sometimes the initial letter or a syllable is apsent |

| |Western |Eastern |

| |believe, deliver, desire, directly, disturb, |

| |eleven, enough, except, occasion, inquest, |

| |epidemic |

|the initial cl |

|> [tl]: clad [tlad], clap, clay, claw, clean, cleave, clergy, clerk, clew, |

|cliff, climb, cling, clip, cloak, close, clot, cloth, cloud, clout |

|gl in the beginning of the word |

|> [dl]: glad, glass, glisten, gloom, glove, glow |

|[l] in the middle of the word isnt pronounced |

| |Western |Eastern |

| |Already |

| |shoulder [?a:d?r] |

| | |the Middle/Eastern |

| | |[l] is often > [ ]: |

| | |bill [b? ] |

| | |tool [tu ] |

| | |nibble [n?b ] |

| | |milk [m? k] |

| | |silk [s? k] |

3. Grammar.

3.1 Nouns.

The definite article.

- There isnt the definite article before same: Tis sames I

always told ee.

- The of-phrase the of is of ten used instead of the possessive

pronoun (e.g. the head of him instead of his head)

The plural form of a noun.

- In many cases -s (es) can be added for several times:

e.g. steps [steps?z] (South Som.)

- in some cases [n] is heard at the end of the word:

e.g. keys [ki:n] (Wil.)

cows [kain] (Dev.)

bottles [botln] (South-W. Dev.)

primroses [pr?mr zn] (Dev.)

- but sometimes [s] is heard in the words ended with -n

e.g. oxen [ ksnz] (Western Som.)

rushes [r?ksnz] (Dev.)

- some nouns have the same form in the singular and in the plural:

e.g. chicken - chickens [t??k] (Som.)

pipe - pipes [pa?p] (Som.)

- sometimes the plural form of the noun is used insted of the

singular form:

a house [auzn] (Southern Wil.)

3.2 Gender.

The full characteristic of Gender in South-Western English Id like to

base on the part of the article by Paddock. Paddock uses the historical

lebel Wessex to describe the countries of South-Western England.

3.2.1 Gender making in Wessex-type English.

It is usually claimed that English nouns lost their grammatical

gender during the historical period called Middle English, roughly 1100-

1500. But this claim needs some qualification. What actually happened

during the Middle English period was that more overt gender marking of

English nouns gave way to more covert marking. As in Lyons (1968:281-8),

the term gender is used here to refer to morphosyntactic classes of

nouns. It is true that the loss of adjective concord in Middle English made

gender marking less overt; but Modern English still retains some determiner

concord which allows us to classify nouns (Christophersen and Sandved

1969). In addition, Modern English (ModE), like Old English (OE) and Middle

English (ME), possesses pronominal distinctions which enable us to classify

nouns.

We can distinguish at least three distinctly different types of gender

marking along the continuum from most overt to most covert. The most overt

involves the marking of gender in the morphology of the noun itself, as in

Swahili (Lyons 1968:284-6). Near the middle of the overt-covert continuum

we could place the marking of gender in adnominals such as adjectives and

determiners. At or near the covert end of the scale we find the marking of

gender in pronominal systems.

During all three main historical stages of the English language (OE,

ME, ModE) one has been able to assign nouns to three syntactic classes

called MASCULINE, FEMININE and NEUTER. However, throughout the recorded

history of English this three-way gender marking has become less and less

overt. In OE all three types of gender marking were present. But even in OE

the intrinsic marking (by noun inflections) was often ambiguous in that it

gave more information about noun declension (ie paradigm class) than about

gender (ie concord class). The least ambiguous marking of gender in OE was

provided by the adnominals traditionally called demonstratives and definite

articles. In addition, gender discord sometimes occurred in OE, in that

the intrinsic gender marking (if any) and the adnominal marking, on the one

hand, did not always agree with the gender of the pronominal, on the other

hand. Standard ME underwent the loss of a three-way gender distinction in

the morphology of both the nominals and the adnominals. This meant that

Standard ModE nouns were left with only the most covert type of three-way

gender marking, that of the pronominals. Hence we can assign a Standard

ModE noun to the gender class MASCULINE, FEMININE or NEUTER by depending

only on whether it selects he, she or it respectively as its proform.

During the ME and Early ModE periods the south-western (here called

Wessex-type) dialects of England diverged from Standard English in their

developments of adnominal and pronominal subsystems. In particular, the

demonstratives of Standard English lost all trace of gender marking,

whereas in south-western dialects their OE three-way distinction of

MASCULINE/FEMININE/NEUTER developed into a two-way MASS/COUNT distinction

which has survived in some Wessex-type dialects of Late ModE. The result in

Wessex was that the two-way distinction in adnominals such as

demonstratives and indefinites came into partial conflict with the three-

way distinction in pronominals. (18, p.31-32)

- Nowadays in the south-western dialects the pronouns he / she are

used instead of a noun:

e.g. My ooman put her bonnet there last year, and the birds laid their

eggs in him. (= it)

Wurs my shovel? I aa gotim; hims her. (= Where is my shovel? Ive

got it. Thats it.)

- In the south-western dialects objects are divided into two categories:

1) countable nouns (a tool, a tree), and the pronouns he / she are used

with them

2) uncountable nouns (water, dust), and the pronoun it is used with them.

The pronoun he is used towards women.

3.3 Numerals.

In south-western dialects the compound numerals (21-99) are pronounced

as: five and fifty, six and thirty.

In Devonshire instead of the second twoth is used (the twenty-

twoth of April).

3.4 Adjectives.

In all dialects of the south-west -er, -est are used in the

comparative and superative degrees with one-, two- and more syllabic

adjectives:

e.g. the naturaler

the seasonablest

delightfuller (-est)

worser - worsest (Dw.)

- The words: gin, an, as, nor, till, by, to, in, on

are used instead of than in the comparative forms:

e.g. When the lad there wasnt scarce the height of that stool, and a

less size on (= than) his brother;

Thats better gin naething;

More brass inney (= than you) haddn;

Its moor in bargain (= more than a bargain).

- The word many is used with uncountable nouns

e.g. many water / milk

- The word first is often used in the meaning of the next:

e.g. The first time I gang to the smiddie Ill give it to him.

Will you come Monday first or Monday eight days?

3.5 Pronouns.

- The forms of the nominative case are often used instead of the forms

of the objective case and vice versa:

e.g. Oi dont think much o they (= of them).

Oi went out a-walkin wi she (= with her).

Oi giv ut t he (= it) back again.

Us (= we) dont want t play wi he (= him).

Har (= she) oont speak t th loikes o we (= us).

When us (= we) is busy, him (= he) comes and does a days work

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