Presentation on theme: "American English: introduction The English language was taken to America by colonists from England who settled along the Atlantic seaboard in the 17th."— Presentation transcript:
American English: introduction The English language was taken to America by colonists from England who settled along the Atlantic seaboard in the 17th century. It was therefore the language spoken in England at that time, the language spoken by Shakespeare, Milton and Bunyam.
General Features Archaism: AME has qualities that were characteristic of the English speech in the 17th and 18th centuries: The preservation of r in American and the flat a in fast, path, etc. Americans pronounce either and neither as /’i: / and / ’ / while in England they changed to /’ai / and / ’ / Americans use “gotten” instead of “got”
Archaism: suite Americans use “mad” in the sense of “angry”; sick in the sense of “ill”; “rare meat” for “”underdone” and “Fall” in the sense of “Autumn” Although Am. E. has preserved certain older features of the language which have disappeared from Standard English in England, it has equally introduced innovations:
Changes in the vocabulary Mountains and forests: foothill, notch, gap, watershed, clearing, underbrush, etc. Living and growing things: noose, chipmunk, terrapin, garter snake, bullfrog, reed bird, etc. The Indian way of life: tomahawk, canoe, toboggan, moccasin, squaw, war path, scalp, pipe of peace, etc. American political and administrative system: congressional, congressman, mass meeting, etc
Changes in the vocabulary: suite Words from other languages: From French: bureau, levee, portage, carifou, etc From Dutch: cookie, stoop, boss, etc. From German: noodle, smearcase, etc. From Spanish: coyote, bonanza, chaparral, etc.
Parallel words Am. E. Br. E. Am. E. Br. E. Railroad railway battery accumulator Engineer driver gasoline petrol Baggage luggage movies pictures Freight train goods train classes forms Apartment flat vacation holidays Drugstore chemist corporation company Bathrobe dressing gown schedule timetable A teener a teenager truck lorry Bartender barman faucet tap Beach seaside sidewalk pavement Raincoat mackintosh antenna aerial First floor ground floor bill bank note Stockholder shareholder public holiday bank holiday Ball pen biro drapes curtains Freeway motorway elevator lift
American pronunciation Vowels: a. American flat a versus British broad a as in fast, path, grass, can’t, half, dance etc. b. Open o pronounced with the lips rounded, has lost its rounding in America: not, lot, hot, top, etc. c. In England been is /bi:n/ while in America is /bin/ d. /ju:/ versus /u:/ /America) student, new, etc.
American pronunciation: suite Consonants: a. In England the sound /r/ has disappeared except before vowels. In America, except in New England, the /r/ is pronounced in all positions. b. In America t between vowels is pronounced as an inverted /r/. After n, d, and r disappears: twen(t(y, for(t)y, etc. c. Some strong consonants become soft: second economist / i:’gonomist/, etc.
Differences of spelling Am. E. Br. E. Am. E. Br. E. or our s c or our s c honor honour defense defence honor honour defense defence color colour offense offence color colour offense offence neighbor neighbour neighbor neighbour One consonant two consonants One consonant two consonants traveler traveller traveler traveller wagon waggon wagon waggon re er re er center centre center centre theater theatre theater theatre
Morphologic and syntactic differences Vulgar speech Incorrect use of was, were: you was, he were etc. Incorrect use of simple past and past participle: I have wrote down, I never seen etc. Double negative: I haven’t seen nothing. Use of adjectives as adverbs: I beat them easy,.. Redundant subject: my father he says
Morphologic and syntactic differences: suite Normal speech Preference for adjectival forms: “long time Smith editorial regime” Explicative pronoun: he man, she friend. Use of nouns as adjectives: ice-water for iced-water Change of function of different words: to captain, to date, to loan, to ready up, the funnies, the olds, to be in the know how, the buy, the haves and the have-nots Preference in the use of verbs like love, like + infinitive, versus like, love + gerund in British English. Deletion of “at” in stay home, be home.