American Pronunciation

1537 Words7 Pages
Abstract
This study will discuss the differences between American and British English. In the matter of pronunciation, we will discuss rhotic accent, pronunciation of vowels and consonant, changes of stress and changes in articulation. We will also discuss the differences in levels of spelling, grammar and vocabulary.
Introduction
In the early 17th century, the Americans obtained the English language through British colonization. Due to the strength of the British Empire, English language spread to many parts of the world. Over time, English spoken in the United States and in Britain started diverging from each other in various aspects, which led to two dialects in the form of the British English and the American English.
When starting to study
…show more content…
There are many factors that can be effective in language evolution; youth for example can be considered one of the most important factors. Everybody knows that younger people speak differently than older people. The speech of young people tends to show more elisions than that of older people. They are more likely to experiment with language, by inventing slang, deviant expressions, idioms and spellings. Over time, these additions become part of the standard. Another contributive factor is isolation, some dialects are separated by geographical features that naturally separates people. The existence of different regional dialects is widely recognized and often the source of some humor for those living in different regions. Mutual comprehension is favoured by the spread of the media, although American films are exported in the United Kingdom rather than the other way round.
The materials collected in this study should be enough to acquire a basic understanding of the main differences between American English and British English. English, spoken by so many people, presents wide variation in pronunciation. Three standard pronunciations can be distinguished:
1) The Received Pronunciation, also called Oxford English or BBC English, is the sort of English used by educated native speakers in south-east England.
2) The General American is the accent considered as standard in North America, and as such it is the pronunciation heard in most of American films, TV
…show more content…
In this study, we will describe major differences between British and American English pronunciation in terms of change of vowels and consonants. Although the change of stress is not being as marked, it also contributes to differentiate both accents. We will mention three areas where important differences are found, namely, the French loanwords, the suffixes –ary, -ory, -berry, and the ending –ate.
We can summarize the main differences between American English and British English as follows:
1) The presence of rhotic accent.
2) Differences in vowel pronunciation. The most relevant ones are change of diphthong [ǝƱ], change of [æ], change of [ju:] and change of [ɒ].
3) Differences in consonant pronunciation. This mainly involves the different pronunciations of the letter t.
4) Change of stress. This comprises the change of stress in certain suffixes such as -ate and -atory.
5) Differences in articulation. American English has a clear tendency to pronounce unstressed syllables where British English does not show such a disposition.

We can also find some minor differences in articulation between American English and British English that do not compromise mutual understanding. For example, the American English tendency to pronounce
Open Document