Thursday, November 28, 2019


ENGLISH TODAY AND TOMORROW - VARIETIES OF ENGLISH Once a vast Empire, The United Kingdom has had a huge cultu ral, sociological and economic impact on its former colonies or members of community we call the Commonwealth. We are going to touch upon one of the main consequences of the colonial era - the English language. In many places where the British (English) had an influence, English still today functions as the official, often native language, of course with some amendments made to fit the locals. Additionally, someplace else, English is further used as the lingua franca , where this term is also known as the common or vehicular language used to make communication possible between people who do not share a nativ e language. We can see this for instance in Nigeria, where different places and tribes use their own means of communication and speak English to understand each other. The next role of the English language is that it functions as an international language . With the United States of America 's leading role in the world's economy and the United Kingdom following slightly behind, international companies and trade dealers use English as their means of communication together with French and sometimes Spanish. Why? The English language is one of the easier ones to learn as a foreigner without keeping you up all night. As for the present-day geographical distribution of English, it is spoken now on all the continents without exception and it is the third mostly spoken language in the world with only Chinese () and Spanish () being the first two. As I mentioned earlier, this distribution goes back to the colonial times and nowadays we can distinguish four geographical groups as follows: First being the group in British Isles including England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. The second group functions in America, consisting of the United States, Canada and The Caribbean. Third English language group is in Africa and West, East and South parts of Africa are its subsets. Last group is spoken in the Pacific and is divided into South Asia, Australia and New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. With that being said, we can consider Britain and America the two main distinct groups for the English language. For each there is a set standard of formal language: In Britain, this is called the Receiv ed Pronunciation and in America we talk about General American . Received Pronunciation is the accent of Standard English in the United Kingdom and is defined as "the standard accent of English as spoken in the south of England , although it can be heard from native speakers throughout England and Wales. The study of RP is concerned exclusively with pronunciation, whereas Standard English , the Queen's English , Oxford English , and BBC English are also concerned with matters such as grammar, vocabulary and style. An individual using RP will typically speak Standard English , although the converse or inverse is not necessarily true. The standard language may be pronounced with a regional accent and the contrapositive is usually correct. It is very unlikely that someone speaking RP would use it to speak a regional dialect. General American differs from the RP in the fact that it is widely used by m ajority of Americans, when, on the other hand, RP is only used by the small minority. This general separation to groups is a one type, the other, also very important distinction in the English language, is the division between an accent and a dialect. And since in Britain there is a very visible social stratification, where people are often able to make instant and unconscious judgements about a stranger's class affiliation on the basis of his or her accent, it is important. We have to differentiate between words people use (= dialect) and the sounds they make, their pronunciation. Accent, or pronunciation, is a special element of a dialect that needs separate attention to be properly understood. A famous distinction in pronunciation in England is the so-called BATH vowel', the quality of the a' sound differing between north and south. For example, someone from Leeds, in the north of England, would typically pronounce bath' with the short a' of

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