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Speech Variation

Nurul Afiqah Binti Zainal

The Study of Variety


Differences between accents
are of two main sorts: phonetic
and phonological
The term "accent" usually
refers to the sound aspect of
language.

Differ phonetically, same set of


phonemes in both accents but
some or all phonemes are
realised differently
May also be differences in
intonation or stress but do not
cause change of meaning

Example: phonetic differences


at segmental level-Australian
English has the same set of
phonemes and phonemic
contrast as BBC pronunciation,
yet it is so different from BBC
accent and is easily
recognized

Some Welsh accents: have


tendency for unstressed
syllables to be higher in pitch
than stressed syllables.
Some Scottish and Northern
Irish accents stresses the final
syllable of verbs ending in -ise
-realise (rlaz)

Differ phonologically, can be


divided into segmental and
suprasegmental

Segmental phonology- one


accent has a different number
of phonemes (page 161 & 162)

Geographi
cal
Variation

Style

Speec
h
Variati
on

Social and
Class
Difference
s

Age

Geographical Variation
Study of speech variation-part of
dialectology, aimed to identify in
which a language differs from
place to place
Elderly speakers speech is less
influenced by accents and
preserve older forms of dialect

American
American speakers have accent (General
American-GA) or Network English
Accents in American different from GA
are mainly found in New England and in
the deep south of the country.
There is a growing section of American
society whose native language is
Spanish

The most important difference


between GA and BBC is the
distribution of r phoneme

GA r rhotic. (page 164)

Scottish
Accent of Edinburgh is one of
the most usually described
Scottish English pronunciation
is essentially rhotic and r in
the spelling is always
pronounced (page 165)

AGE
Younger people speak
differently from older people
Speech of young people tends
to show more elisions than the
older people (sloppy/careless)

Use of rising intonationin relation to age


differences
A style of
speaking-upspeak or
uptalk (page 166)

Social and Class


Differences

Social relationship between


speaker and hearer
Publicly or privately
Purposes of which one is using
language
Chameleon adapting its colour to
environment (speak with

Style
Careful and formal
Vary pronunciation to suit
different style of speech
Example: Formal news
reading style vs casual
speech in chat shows

Rhythm form:
Careful, deliberate speechregular rhythm and slow speed
Casual speech-less rhythmical
and faster + a lot of fillers
(um/er) or exaggeratedly
long vowels (cover hesitation)

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