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Author Topic: Local accents - do they still exist?  (Read 35713 times)

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Offline ChrisExiledFromStrood

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Re: Local accents - do they still exist?
« Reply #101 on: July 06, 2017, 17:57:17 »
... I have seen much speculation in the papers recently about getting rid of Latin abbreviations; e.g., i.e., etc.- which everyone brought up in the UK knows. Will they be replaced by F.E., T.I., A.S.O. (which could be A.T.R.), I wonder?
Using your own languge for the abbreviation happens in other languages, f.ex.
French has p.ex. for par exemple (for example, e.g.)
German has d.h. for das heißt (that means, i.e.)
Dutch has enz. for enzovoorts (and so forth, etc.)

It's not so much a case of "getting rid of" as "falling out of use" with most things - language is (mostly) decided by how people use it, not by some committee telling us what to do.

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Local accents - do they still exist?
« Reply #100 on: August 12, 2016, 12:19:03 »
A short "a" & a long "a". What's with this modern idiom of speaking in abreviations (which could eventually lead to speaking - & writing - in text), even when they might be wrong, as your "Received" & " Perceived" indicate? I have seen much speculation in the papers recently about getting rid of Latin abbreviations; e.g., i.e., etc.- which everyone brought up in the UK knows. Will they be replaced by F.E., T.I., A.S.O. (which could be A.T.R.), I wonder?

Offline Sylvaticus

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Re: Local accents - do they still exist?
« Reply #99 on: August 11, 2016, 00:37:29 »
"The King's English" was a book written a hundred years ago, with guidance on recommended grammar and word usage, i.e. not pronunciation (accent is pronunciation only, a dialect is a unique regional grammar and pronunciation, and standard English is the recommended grammar for writing in the whole UK whatever the writer's own dialect). The King's English was outdated after a few decades (language changes with every generation), so it's no longer much help for us wanting "suitable grammar" for this forum, standard English is the thing to go for. However, some RP speakers in positions of authority had a habit of chastising people using local accents or dialect words by saying "can't you speak the King's English?" (eventually Queen's English), so the expression came to be associated with pronunciation.

From the beginning, the BBC adopted a policy of RP only because it was believed to be the only comprehensible way of pronouncing English. That's changed now and all accents can be heard on the BBC, including news broadcasts. Above all, the BBC no longer requires you to learn RP. In fact only about 3-5% of the UK population speaks RP, the rest of us chat together quite happily without much difficulty.

Thank you Conan, I didn't want to make it too complicated. "Received" is used here with an old and outdated meaning,
"approved".

Finally, a correction (you can't edit a post later on). In reply #96 I wrote "bath" was a distinguishing word between northern and southern English. That was too hasty. It should have been: words like "trap" and "bath" are pronounced with the same vowel in northern English, but two different vowels in southern English.

Offline conan

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Re: Local accents - do they still exist?
« Reply #98 on: August 10, 2016, 23:41:44 »
RP stands for recieved pronunciation,please see the link below  old chap :)

http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sounds/find-out-more/received-pronunciation/
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Local accents - do they still exist?
« Reply #97 on: August 10, 2016, 20:13:51 »
Sylvaticus, Afraid I don't know what RP stands for. We always said that the BBC announcers, etc. spoke King's (after '53 Queen's) English. Regional accents were not common " on the wireless"- or early TV- until the mid/late 50's, but once started, became increasingly more acceptable; probably because of the popular Coronation Street. I'll always remember the Oldham chap in our room saying, " you say boot, like I do, then why do you change how you pronounce book, look, hook?" He was right but had to concede our cup became his coop! Their " bath" of course has a short a. Incidently, do you live in a wood?

Offline Sylvaticus

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Re: Local accents - do they still exist?
« Reply #96 on: August 10, 2016, 12:15:51 »
Dave Smith, yes an accent varies according to someone's level of education and other social factors. But I was referring to attitudes that divide people up differently. A century ago, anyone wanting a career in the professions was expected to change their accent to "RP", the accent of the public schools. As a child I obviously had no idea what "RP" was, but the politicians and announcers on wartime broadcasts clearly didn't speak like us. That has all changed since WW2, and today you will mostly hear regional accents in all walks of life and very little "RP". But the attitude was that "RP" was "educated" and everyone else was "uneducated".

The big divide between the northern and southern accents you mention runs roughly from the Wash to the Severn. Two vowels are enough to distinguish them (there are plenty of other differences of course, but two will distinguish). Words like "strut" rhyme with "foot" in the north, but not in the south, and words like "bath" are pronounced differently. Then in the south, the new accent that started in the Thames estuary region about 200 years ago is gradually moving westwards replacing the earlier accent still spoken there.


Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Local accents - do they still exist?
« Reply #95 on: August 09, 2016, 20:42:19 »
Sylvaticus.You're right about the un, or badly, educated in London being refered to as " cockney"- altho' not being born within the sound of Bow Bells. An RAF colleague came from Shepherds Bush & was a real " gor blimey, 'ows yer father", but as you go up the Educated- or better bred- ladder, accents become less intrusive; whichever part of the country you are from. Nowadays I'm told I have a " Southern accent"- whether from Gillingham, Shepperton or Maidenhead & to me everyone in this area has a " Northern accent"- whether from Bolton, Oldham or Stalybridge.

Offline jimawilliams

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Re: Local accents - do they still exist?
« Reply #94 on: August 08, 2016, 22:40:51 »
G'day all,
Fair dinkum, my oath they still exist mate.  Back in 2013 when my wife and I visited the Medway towns they were so evident, 100 per cent.  Very obvious and unique, so different to London or even Maidstone.

The only place accents don't exist is here, in Australia and that only happened gradually after we had lived here for the first 10 years :)

"Change is the only constant"

Offline Nemo

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Re: Local accents - do they still exist?
« Reply #93 on: August 08, 2016, 17:36:24 »
I'm from the West, married a maid of Kent and had three sons - all of whom have difficulty in pronouncing 'world' properly. It invariably comes out as 'wold', 'weld', 'weald' or 'willed', rather than as 'whirled'.

Offline davpott

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Re: Local accents - do they still exist?
« Reply #92 on: August 08, 2016, 15:37:34 »
We must not forget that the advent of radio and more recently television had a significant influence on accents. 

Offline Sylvaticus

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Re: Local accents - do they still exist?
« Reply #91 on: August 08, 2016, 13:42:44 »
.... so don`t sound like a cockney, but then a lot of London people have moved south so I guess others may think we all sound alike.

There's been a steady migration of Londoners along the estuary coast for centuries, and from the end of the 18th century and throughout the 19th century the local accent began to adopt features of London speech, what is sometimes called estuary English. Within a generation each new feature started spreading across rural Kent. East Kent (Ashford and beyond) was the last area to give up the earlier accent, probably people born in the 1940s and later. Think of the late TV interviewer David Frost who was born in Tenterden and grew up in Gillingham. As Rochester-bred correctly observes, the new accent never converged completely on the London accent, so there is a difference, but outsiders may not be aware of it (and those London migrants were always there too, speaking as they always did, but with locally born children growing up with the local accent). Dave Smith's Manchester builder had a sharp ear.

Similar accent changes were also taking place all round London, so today there's a similar accent throughout the home counties, and the change continues rolling westwards. I've heard young adults from Swindon who speak just like me (born on Sheppey in the 1930s) rather than with a west English accent.

By the way, "cockney" has various meanings, from London East End dialect to the "bad" English of the "uneducated" generally (sadly, attitudes are very much involved). The word was originally derived from "cock[eral]'s egg", i.e something stupid and ridiculous (more attitudes).

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Local accents - do they still exist?
« Reply #90 on: August 07, 2016, 20:03:57 »
Rochester -bred. I was born & initially bred in G'ham & never lost my accent. At 16 I joined the RAF as an apprentice & met people from all over the UK ; accents - which I had not encountered before- were a real eye opener & the subject of much banter, in both directions! When I first moved up here- Manchester area- in 1968, I remember visiting a large building site & one of the site workers I was talking to said,"do you come from Chatham?". I said, "no, why do you think that?" & he replied, " because my wife's brother speaks just like you". So we must have a " Medway" accent! However, in truth, a "London" accent - not a cockney accent- really covers all the South East. As does a " Brummy"- all the West Midlands; "Geordie"- all Tyneside area; "Scouse" all Merseyside, etc.,etc.

Offline Rochester-bred

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Re: Local accents - do they still exist?
« Reply #89 on: August 07, 2016, 10:27:20 »
Most people these days ask if I'm from London which does annoy me as I've lived in Rochester all my life, so don`t sound like a cockney, but then a lot of London people have moved south so I guess others may think we all sound alike.
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Offline LenP

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Re: Local accents - do they still exist?
« Reply #88 on: January 16, 2014, 20:48:54 »
They're called a 'folley' where I come from....

Offline peterchall

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Re: Local accents - do they still exist?
« Reply #87 on: November 15, 2013, 15:49:26 »
You mean an 'alley' :)
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

 

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