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Тип работы: Курсовик. Добавлен: 23.1.2014. Сдан: 2014. Страниц: 27. Уникальность по antiplagiat.ru: < 30%

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Language is the most important means of human being. The variety of languages is as great as variety of the peoples. Some languages have much in common - they belong to one family, other languages differ much and it seems that they have nothing in common but the thing that brings together all of them is that people use it to communicate with each other. One and the same language may differ in different regions of the country. The most widespread reason is the influence of the other cultures. Such form of a language which is spoken only in one area, with words or grammar that are slightly different from other forms of the same language is called the dialect. Dialects are such varieties of a language that contrast in pronunciation, grammatical patterns, and vocabulary and that are associated with geographic area and social class. There are 2.5 thousand of languages, if not to take in consideration the distinctions between dialects. If we take dialects as separate languages their number will amount to 5 thousands. The whole amount of population in the world already has past 5 billions of people, it means that on average there is one language (or dialect) to million of people. It’s impossible to learn all of them. English language is the most prevalent and universally recognized. 402 million people all over the world speak English. It is widely spoken on six continents. In the British Isles, North America and Australia, where English is spoken as the primary language, the English-speaking population is fairly stable. In Africa, the Indian subcontinent and South-east Asia, where English is used as a secondary language, its future is uncertain. English speakers fall into three groups: those who have inherited it as their native language, those who have acquired it as their second language in a society that is largely bilingual, and those who have learned it as a necessary medium of their education or profession. In the entire world, one person in seven now belongs to one of these groups.
Almost every language has different variants of pronunciation that’s why it’s no wonder that there are: British, American, Australian or Canadian English. The linguistic variations of one and the same language differ from its dialects. These variations of English already are independent languages but its dialects will never become independent.
The reason why we have chosen this theme is that of enlargement of our knowledge of English language, of penetration in its historical past. These materials will help us to evaluate and understand the peculiarities of foundation and development of this language, its dialects and accents.
Our aim is:
To examine the most prevalent British dialects.
Our tasks are:
1.To compare British dialects’ lexis (the word stock of the dialect), grammar and phonetics with those of Standard English ones.
2.To clarify what is the difference between them.
3.To show the peculiarities of British dialects.
The subject of British dialects is very topical nowadays because the English language develops and changes and the dialects are forgotten. New words constantly replace the old ones. The old generations sometimes can’t understand the young because of the distinctions in their speech; their language is the same but the words are different.
Our work will consist of 2 chapters. The 1st part will include mostly the theory, i.e. the history and development of the English language because it’s very important for us to know the background of the appearing of the dialects. Also in this chapter we will examine the concept of dialect in general, the difference between standard dialects and non-standard dialects, between the dialect and the accent. Also here we will examine what dialects exist in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The second chapter of our work we will dedicate to the analysis of British dialects (using the comparative and statistical methods) and to their peculiarities more minutely.
Dialects of English language have some divergences from rules of pronunciation and grammar. The learning of these divergences will help to understand the dialects better. We will know how the meaning of words was formed and developed. As all languages change over time and vary according to place and social domain we should ascertain why it uneducated strata of society. However this statement is wrong because the literary norm is formed on the bases of one or more local dialects and linguistic features of any local dialect are determined by strict historical regularities. For profound understanding of etymology, history and theory of English language we should study territorial dialects.
Henry Sweet predicted in 1877 that within a century, American English, Australian English and British English would be mutually unintelligible, but it may be the case that increased world-wide communication through television, the Internet, or globalization has reduced the tendency to regionalisation. This can result either with some variations becoming extinct (as, for instance, apartment has been gradually displacing flat in much of the world) or that wide variations are accepted as "perfectly good English" everywhere.
In addition to its use in English-speaking countries, English is used as a technical language around the world, in medicine, computer science, air traffic control, and many other areas.
Like all languages, English is constantly changing. Some changes spread out to cover the whole country; others spread only so far, leading to dialect differences between areas. The spread of changes may be caused by physical barriers to communications. Language change can sometimes be explained by external factors - e.g. the wholesale adoption into English of many French words following the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. If we look far enough back in time, we can see that the impulse for change in language has led to the growth of different languages. 2000 years ago, the following languages were all part of the same language: Swedish, Dutch, Norwegian, Icelandic, German, English. We now call these the Germanic language family, and they are descended from a common ancestor of which we have no records. In spite of common ancestor an English speaker cannot understand Dutch or Norwegian without studying them. 1000 years ago they probably could. The same applies to English. The English language was brought to Britain by Germanic-speaking invaders about 1500 years ago. Over the intervening centuries the language has changed enormously with the result that the Old English or Anglo-Saxon as written by King Alfred is no longer comprehensible to the Englishes, and the Middle English of Geoffrey Chaucer is by no means easy to read and even harder if they just hear it.
The main peculiarity of British English is that in contrast to other languages it has always been, and continues to be, a language of dialects. "There are no really sharp dialect boundaries in England, and dialects certainly do not coincide with counties. Yorkshire Dialect, for instance, does not suddenly change dramatically into Durham Dialect as you cross the County Durham boundary. Indeed, the dialects of northern Yorkshire are much more like those of County Durham than they are like those of southern Yorkshire. Dialects form a continuum, and are very much a matter of more-or-less rather than either / or. There is really no such thing as an entirely separate, self-contained dialect." (Trudgill 1990: 6) Wherever one goes in England or elsewhere in Britain, there are very obvious differences between the ways in which people speak in different places. It is so with the words used, with the grammar or the way in which words are organized, and very noticeably with pronunciation or dialect. There are four major divisions of dialects in Britain: Northern English, Midlands English, Southern English and Scottish English and in this work we’ll try to analyse them. We’ll distinguish between their vocabulary, grammar and phonetics.
To understand the dialect situation in England we must look not only at the number of years that the language has existed there but also at what has taken place with regard to the language during those years. Forces may have acted, and indeed have acted, to suppress the trend towards dialectal development. That these forces were weaker than the forces working for the growth of dialect is an important feature of the history of the language at various stages of its evolution.
There are no sharp distinctions between dialects but the style that people use to communicate is different. Some dialects, for instance, are known for the ability of their speakers to conduct conversations containing quickfire wit and repartee - e.g. Merseyside and Cockney. In others, such as East Anglia, slower speech styles and more sardonic wit is appreciated. This leads to stereotyping of speakers as having certain characteristics. Cockneys are valued in London as amusing, but seen in East Anglia as arrogant and dominant; whilst East Anglians are perceived as taciturn and unfriendly by Londoners.


In order to understand the nature and origin of conditions prevailing in dialects today we must learn to understand the circumstances which fostered them. And first of all we want to start from history of the English language.
English is descended from the language spoken by the Germanic tribes (the Frisians, Angles, Saxons, and Jutes) that migrated to the land that would become known as England. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, around 449 AD, Vortigern, King of the British Isles, issued an invitation to the "Angle kin" (Angles, led by Hengest and Horsa) to help him against the Picts. In return, the Angles were granted lands in the southeast. Further aid was sought, and in response "came men of Ald Seaxum of Anglum of Iotum" (Saxons, Angles, and Jutes). The Chronicle documents the subsequent influx of "settlers" who eventually established seven kingdoms: Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Kent, Essex, Sussex, and Wessex.
These Germanic invaders dominated the original Celtic-speaking inhabitants, the languages of whom survived largely in Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and Ireland. The dialects spoken by these invaders formed what would be called Old English which was a very similar language to modern Frisian which was also strongly influenced by yet another Germanic dialect, Old Norse, spoken by Viking invaders who settled mainly in the North-East. English, England, and East Anglia are derived from words referring to the Angles: Englisc, Angelcynn, and Englaland.
For the 300 years following the Norman Conquest in 1066, the Kings of England spoke only French. A large number of French words were assimilated into Old English, which also lost most of its inflections, the result being Middle English. Around the year 1500, the Great Vowel Shift transformed Middle English to Modern English.
Modern English began its rise around the time of William Shakespeare. Some scholars divide early Modern English and late Modern English at around 1800, in concert with British conquest of much of the rest of the world, as the influence of native languages affected English enormously.
English belongs to the western sub-branch of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European family of languages. The closest undoubted living relatives of English are Scots and Frisian. Frisian is a language spoken by approximately half a million people in the Dutch province of Friesland, in nearby areas of Germany, and on a few islands in the North Sea.
After Scots and Frisian, the next closest relative is the modern Low Saxon language of the eastern Netherlands and northern Germany. Other less closely related living languages include Dutch, Afrikaans, German and the Scandinavian languages. English speakers understand many French words, as English absorbed a tremendous amount of vocabulary from the Norman language after the Norman conquest and from French in further centuries; as a result, a substantial part of English vocabulary is quite close to the French, with some minor spelling differences (word endings, use of old French spellings, etc.), as well as occasional differences in meaning.
The English vocabulary has changed continually over more than 1,500 years of development. The most nearly complete dictionary of the language, the Oxford English Dictionary, contains more than 600,000 words, including obsolete forms and variant spellings. It has been estimated, however, that the present English vocabulary consists of more than 1 million words, including slang and dialect expressions and scientific and technical terms, many of which only came into use after the middle of the XX century. The vocabulary is approximately half Germanic (Old English and Scandinavian) and half Italic or Romance (French and Latin), with copious borrowings from Greek in science and borrowings from many other languages. The English adopted the 23-letter Latin alphabet, to which they added the letters W, J, V. For the most part English spelling is based on that of the XV century. Pronunciation, however, has changed greatly since then. During the XVII and XVIII centuries fixed spellings were adopted, although there have been a few changes since that time. The English vocabulary is more extensive than that of any other language in the world, although some other languages-Chinese, for example-have a word-building capacity equa........


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