Гладка І.А. Лінгвокраїнознавство. Курс лекцій - файл n1.doc

Гладка І.А. Лінгвокраїнознавство. Курс лекцій
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1. Spelling

2. Pronunciation

3. Grammar

4. Vocabulary and idiom

5. Overview

Lecture 2

1.1. Introduction

1.2. The United Kingdom today

1.3. British English

1.4. Social encounters

1.5. Friendly encounters

1.6. British regional and national shibboleths


I. Cultural Identity

2. Cultural Stereotypes

3. Linguistic Nationism


1 Characteristic features of American English

2. 'R'-pronouncing

3 Raising and tensing of short 'a'

4 The dialect areas of the United States

5. African American Vernacular English

6. Higher education and social mobility

7 Terms of address, introductions

8 Mail address and telling the time

9 Privacy or talking about religion, sex and money

10. Friendliness

11. Stereotypes and misconceptions

12. Americans don't learn foreign languages

13. The status of English as an official language

14. Regional stereotypes

15.. The Nine Nations


1. Communities of Language Users

2. Context of Situation, Context of Culture

3. Contextuahzation Cues, Situated Inferences

Lecture 1


Main points

  1. Spelling

  2. Pronunciation

  3. Grammar

  4. Vocabulary and idiom

  5. Overview

In general, written English, especially in its most formal versions, does not vary radically. Among the five countries (the UK, the USA. Canada, Now Zealand and Australia) spelling practices and grammatical usage arc relatively uniform, and there is a large common vocabulary. Spoken English does show more variability, both in pronunciation itself and in the kind of vocabulary and idiom that is more likely to be used in speech [Бродович 1988, Strevens 1992].

1. Spelling

In its written form, English is a remarkably uniform language. This v\ms not always so. The notion that there is one correct way to spell English words is a consequence of various developments over the past 500 years, іncluding the invention of printing, the publication of dictionaries such as Mi Samuel Johnson's of 1755, the institution of universal compulsory education and the gradual development of a strong public commitment to і In1 importance of having a standardized written form of language.

In the 18th century, when Dr. Johnson published his dictionary, it was Mill possible to write 'fabrick' rather than 'fabric'; 'recal' rather than 'recall'; 'authour' rather than 'author'; and 'croud' rather than 'crowd'. A quick glance at these alternative spellings is enough to show that there is no і (impelling reason to accept one rather than the other. After all, if we can now write 'appal' and 'enrol' with a single /, why not also 'recal"? If we wrіte 'loud' and 'cloud', why not also 'croud"? And so on. But public acceptance of a standardized spelling is now such that these 18th century alternatives would simply be judged incorrect.

There are still a few English words that do remain open to alternative spellings: you can write 'aging' or 'ageing', 'judgment' or 'judgement', 'queuing' or 'queueing', 'annex' or 'annexe', 'drier' ox 'dryer', 'instal' or 'install', 'gibe' or jibe', 'whir' or 'whirr'. Publishers and editors usually have their own preference for one or the other of these spellings and will regularize for consistency, but they are unlikely to claim that the alternative is incorrect. Needless to say, words such as these are a very small fraction of English vocabulary.

There are rather more instances of words which are usually written differently in Britain and the USA. Several kinds of words are involved.

There are about 30 words that end in '-our' in British spelling but '-or' in American. Examples in the American spelling are:













The British spellings of these words are:













But '-our'spellings can be found in American publications {'glamour' occurs, as well as 'glamor', for example) and there are also plenty of '-or' spellings in British usage ('author, error, squalor').

Some words ending in '-re' in British spelling have '-er' in American usage. Some American examples are:







British variants of these words are:







Again, the distinction is not quite as straightforward as it may seem. American usage has many words ending in '-re' (for example 'genre, mediocre, ogre').

In American usage, the letter 'l' is usually not doubled in words such as:

counselin gjeweler

labeled traveled

traveling woolen

But British usage normally does double the consonant:

counsellin gjeweller

labelled traveled

travelling woollen

The '-ize' spelling

is normal in the USA, in words like:

apologize authorize

civilize organize

recognize specialize

The alternative spellings are:

apologise authorise

civilise organize

recognise specialise

This '-ize' spelling is often claimed to be a feature of American writing, but in fact '-ize' is also common in Britain, and preferred by some British publishers in many words. A strong preference for '-ise' is probably more Characteristic of Australia and Canada than of Britain. But it should also be noted that there are words ending in '-ise' or '-ize' in which the ending is not a suffix. Some of these are always written with '-ise', throughout the English-speaking world (e.g. 'advise, surprise') and some always have '-ize' (e.g. 'prize, size, capsize'). There is no regional variation in the spelling of these words.

Where the two-letter combinations 'ae' and 'oe' occur in words based on Latin or Greek, they are often maintained in British usage but simplified to 'e' in American. Examples in the simplified spelling are:

esthetic hemorrhage gynecology anesthetist leukemia pediatrics diarrhea esophagus estrogen

Those who retain the 'ae' or 'oe' spell these words as:

aesthetic haemorrhage gynaecology anaesthetist leukaemia paediatrics diarrhoea oesophagus oestrogen

But again we have to be careful not to overgeneralize. Even in America, 'aerobic' retains an 'ae' and 'phoenix' an 'oe'; while spellings like 'encyclopedia' (for 'encyclopaedia') and 'medieval' (for 'mediaeval') are increasingly common, even outside the USA.

American usage generally has the shorter form of some words:
analog catalog program

ax dialog

whereas Britain tends to prefer the longer forms:
analogue catalogue programme
axe dialogue

American usage has the letter У in these words:

defense pretense vise

where British usage has the letter 'c':

defence pretence vice

(In America, the Vice Squad deals with vice, but the clamping device on a workbench is a vise.)

There are a few other variants, such as the following, with American variants on the left and British on the right:

disk disc

draft draught

gray grey

plow plough

skeptical skeptical

And in Britain, you 'check' up on something but cash a 'cheque', and you 'tire'of something but have 'tyres'on acar. American usage has 'check' and 'tire' without distinction.

Many of the spellings that are now considered American were once alternatives in Britain. The spellings 'disk' and 'program', for instance, are common in the context of computing (and note also the earlier remark about the international spread of the spellings like 'encyclopedia' and 'medieval').

Many of the American spellings can be traced to Noah Webster (1774-1843) who, as Samuel Johnson was in England, was influential in America as a lexicographer and man of letters. He proposed considerable reform of English spelling, including simplifying 'head' to 'hed', 'give' 'to 'giv', 'friend' to 'frend' 'mean' to 'meen', and 'grieve' to 'greev', among many others. Wbster's interests and enthusiasm were not peculiar to the USA. A movement to promote spelling simplification in Canada in the late nineteenth century produced a publication called the Fonetic Herald. Among famous advocates of spelling reform in Britain were Isaac Pitman (inventor of Pitman's shorthand) and the author George Bernard Shaw.

Obviously most of Webster's (and other reformers') proposals were not taken up, and English spelling is now highly conservative. English spelling does not correspond closely to pronunciation and that many details of spelling represent obsolete features of pronunciation such as the 'silent' initial consonant letters in words like 'gnaw, knife, write' and 'gh' in words like 'bough, dough, through'. Even those who grow up with English as the first language often make spelling mistakes: it is not common to find even well-educated native speakers of English writing 'accommodate' with one 'm' instead of two, or 'minuscule' with an 'i' instead of the first 'u'

Australia (Aus) and New Zealand (NZ) have inherited the same conservative spelling system, with very little local innovation Where British and American practices diverge, Australia and New Zealand have tended to follow British practice in most respects. This is hardly surprising, given the extent of immigration from Britain and continuing political and cultural connections with the United Kingdom. But Australia has been relatively open to '-or' spellings, which are normal in some newspapers and in some contexts such as the 'Australian Labor Party'. As mentioned earlier, current usage in Australia also strongly favours the '-ise' spelling of words like 'apologise, authorise, characterise, emphasise, organise, polarise, specialise'.

Canada also has a history of links to Britain, of course, but is geographically much closer to the USA than to any other English-speaking country, but the influence of American spellings through publications and films and television programmes is extremely strong.

2. Pronunciation

A regional survey

English is not at all uniform in pronunciation, but one advantage of English spelling is that it is more or less the same across the English-speaking world. Indeed, if we followed the principle that spelling should closely reflect pronunciation, we would have to start coping with alarmingly divergent spelling practices.

Britain itself reveals considerable diversity of pronunciation. What many people think of as traditional and correct pronunciation — and what is sometimes referred to as ВВС English or Oxford English - is the accent of a very small minority. Known to phoneticians as Received Pronunciation, or RP for short, this way of pronouncing English was spread through the prestigious private schools in England and has thus become a pronunciation with high social status. It continues to be important, not only because the minority who speaks it includes highly influential people, but also because descriptions of English pronunciation and the pronunciations given in British dictionaries are often based on RP. Many learners of English around the world, especially in areas where Britain is still regarded as the home of the English language, are introduced to RP as the 'best' or 'normal' pronunciation of English.

RP was first described by the British phonetician Daniel Jones in his English Pronouncing Dictionary of 1917, when it was already well established as a prestigious pronunciation. Jones was actually more interested in describing RP than in promoting it, and in the introduction to his dictionary he wrote that 'RP means merely 'widely understood pronunciation', going on to say that 'I do not hold it up as a standard which everyone is recommended to adopt'.

Many of the older regional pronunciations have been heavily modified over the last hundred years or so, partly because mobility and urbanization have broken down the older closer-knit communities that sustained marked regional diversity, and partly because school teachers have often encouraged children to eliminate some of the most obvious regional features oft heir speech. But there are still identifiable regional pronunciations across Britain, even if their precise characteristics and the boundaries among them are not as clear cut as they once were. Because of the high status of RP, regional pronunciations have sometimes been regarded as 'lower class' accents; but this in turn has meant that many citizens of Britain have reacted against RP as 'posh'. Many Britons probably now want (consciously or not) to speak something like 'standard English' but without abandoning all the features of their local speech. An important illustration of this newer kind of regionalism is Estuary English, spoken in much of southeastern England and named after the Thames Estuary. Viewed phonetically, this is a compromise between RP and London speech. Many people in southeastern England would consider it an 'ordinary' way to talk, neither affected (as RP might seem to be) nor uneducated (as a strongly regional accent might be thought to imply).

Scotland, Ireland and, to a lesser extent, Wales have traditions and regional or national identities that make them more independent of RP than areas of England. In Scotland, for example, while there is a very small minority of RP speakers, most of the population has an identifiably Scottish pronunciation (phonetically quite different from RP or Estuary). Within
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