Lecture 11-General American & Br E
American English vs British English...
Phonetics________________2nd Year LMD
Teacher: Mr.Aounali . W
General American and Received Pronunciation
Introduction: While there are certainly many varieties of English accents, American English (AmE) and British English (BrE) (1) are the two varieties that are taught in most ESL/EFL programs. Generally, it is agreed that no one version is "correct". However, there are certainly preferences in use. The most important rule is to try to be consistent in your usage. If you decide that you want to use American English spellings and pronunciation then be consistent, this is of course not always easy, also the same for British English variety. The following guide is meant to point out the principal differences of the two varieties:
1.Prepositions & verbs:
American English - on the weekend while in British English - at the weekend. . American English - please write me soon, whereas British English - please write to me soon. Irregular verbs: Burnt or burned, dreamt or dreamed, leant or leaned, learnt or learned, smelt or smelled, spelt or spelled, spilt or spilled, spoilt or spoiled, leapt or leaped, lit or lighted.
2. Differences in grammar: 2.1. Use of the Present Perfect: I have lost my pen (BrE). I lost my pen (AmE). He has just gone home (BrE). He just went home (AmE) 2.2. Adverbs: He has probably arrived now (BrE). He probably has arrived now. (AmE).
3. Differences in spelling : Words ending in -or (AmE) -our for (BrE) colo(u)r, humo(u)r, flavor(u)r , behavior(u)r, favo(u)r… Words ending in -ize (AmE) -ise for (BrE) recognize, recognise, patronize, analyze, realize...etc Doubling the ending –l (AmE) –ll for (BrE) like travel(l)ing, patrol(l)ing, cancel(l)ing ...etc Words ending in -ter (AmE) -tre for (BrE) as center, centre, theater, theatre, liter, litre, meter, metre.
As you can see, there are many differences between Standard British English (RP) and Standard American English (GA). However, the largest difference is probably that of the pronunciation of words and sentences & somehow in transcription.
4. Differences in transcription & pronunciation: The transcription of the diphthong /əʊ/ in GA is /oʊ /, E.g: in RP Show /ʃəʊ/ or in GA / ʃoʊ/. 1. British English (RP) is non-rhotic accent while American English is rhotic accent (GA). E.g: In RP the (r) is pronounced only when it is between two vowels. i.e: Teacher /tiːtʃə(r)/ but in GA as /tiːtʃɚ/ , in GA the (r) in final position after a vowel is always pronounced. 2. The transcription & pronunciation of the (r) in mid-position of words is different; in (RP) it is not pronounced whereas in (GA) it is. E.g: Learn in (RP) /lɜːn/ but in (GA) /lɝːn/ . 3. The transcription & pronunciation of the (r) in mid-position of words is not the same in (GA) & in (RP) such as ‘Hard’ /haːd/ but in GA /haːrd/ then the (r) in (GA) is pronounced. 4. The pronunciation of final (r) as in RP ‘door’ /dɔː(r) / & in GA / dɔːr/, Also /ɔː(r)/ & /ɔːr /. 5. The pronunciation of /ɒ/ in British English (RP) mostly becomes /ɑː/ in (GA). E.g: Shot /ʃɒt/, /ʃɑːt/ , Complex /ˈkɒmpleks/, /ˈkɑːmpleks/ , From /ˈfrɒm/, /ˈfrɑːm/ . Not /nɒt/,/nɑːt/ , lot/lɒt/,/lɑːt/ , hot, top, dog, dot /dɒt/, /dɑːt/ , pot, got /gɒt/, /gɑːt/ . 6. The pronunciation of /ɑː/ in (RP) becomes /æ/ in (GA) half/hɑːf/,/hæf/ ,/fɑːst/,/fæst/ laugh /lɑːf/, /læf/ , dance/dɑːns/, /dæns/ , class/klɑːs/,/klæs/ ; can’t /kɑːnt/, /kænt/ . 7. The pronunciation of the voiceless plosive /t/ in RP becomes voiced /t/ in GA when it occurs in intervocalic position and becomes like /d/ or / /. E.g: Pretty, little, beautiful, City. 8. Words like New /njuː/ in RP become as /nuː/ in GA, i.e: Student, Tuesday, Duke, Tune. (1) Glenn
Darragh (2000). A to Zed, A to Zee. A Guide to the Differences Between British and American English.