English in South Asia
1. London Missionary Society, from a proposal to erect a college in Bangalore (1826)
Without the charge of predilection for our own country, we think we are justified in asserting
that Britain stands unrivalled by any ancient or mode
be vocalic, it is best to simply insert a dummy vowel into your transcription. The best choice is to use
the schwa (/\/). Hence the word golden would be transcribed /gold\n/.
Words of more than one syllable have differing degrees of stress on
Some languages have other categories, but only the ones above are the only ones that occur in English.
Individual consonants can be made up of nearly any combination of the features above. For instance, [b]
is a voiced labial stop and /s/ is a voiceless a
distinct and help us understand the difference between lice and rice. However, [l] and [r] are not distinct
phonemes in many Asian languages, which is why speakers of those languages often have trouble
distinguishing the two words when speaking English. L
English in Africa
A Sample of Cameroonian Pidgin
Di fos tok fo di gud nuus fo Jesus Christ God yi Pikin. I bi sem as i di tok fo di buk fo Isaiah,
The first talk of the good news of Jesus Christ God s Son. He be seem as he the talk of the book of Isaiah,
Features of New Zealand English
1. Non-rhotic, except in southern areas with heavy Scottish settlement.
2. /w/ and /hw/ are commonly distinguished.
3. Raising of / and / to / and /e/ respectively. / is increasingly pronounced /\/.
4. Before /l/ contrasts
Ngg wa Thiongo, Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Culture (Kenya,
We African writers are bound by our calling to do for our languages what Spenser, Milton and
Shakespeare did for English; what Pushkin and Tolstoy did for Rus
However, Jamaican English dominates the region. Jamaica was captured by the British in 1655 from
the Spanish. Jamaican Pidgin English was the result of contact between British settlers many from
the west of England, Ireland, and Scotland by way of Barbado
Note that many students incorrectly try to transcribe the sound in high with /. The symbol / indicates
the monophthongal sound in bitter /bt\r/, and the symbol /ai/ indicates the diphthong in biter /bait\r/.
The pronunciation of diphthongs varies a good d
Phonetics and Phonology
Humans have a complex system of using sounds to produce language. The study of linguistic sounds is
called Phonetics. Phonology is the study of systems of sounds, often the sound system of a particular
Consider a sentence like the one below:
(The)_seem(s) all right.
You can fill in the blank with words like John, diligence, or dog, so these words are nouns. Youll notice
that each of these nouns seems to occupy more or less the same function in t
The Sound Changes which Distinguish Germanic from Indo-European
The Germanic Accent Shift
In Indo-European accent (or word stress) was probably indicated by pitch and could fall on any syllable in
the word. The placement of the accent depended on the le
The Dialects of the United States
General American, the dialect most often employed by the American news media, is the product
of the mixing of dialects originating in eastern parts of the country. In general, the eastern United
States tends to preserve e
Five Sentence Types
The predicates of sentences can be structured into five different ways. Depending on the type of predicate
you have, the verb is labelled intransitive, linking, or transitive.
Predicates with Intransitive Verbs
Intransitive verbs can s
stand alone but must be attached to another morpheme to have meaning are called bound
morphemes. Hence there is a major difference between morphemes likecfw_bright, a free
morpheme, and cfw_-en, a bound morpheme. A base is the part of a word that carries
Morphology is the study of the ways in which words are formed and the functions of the parts
that make up the whole of the word.
Like phonemes, morphemes are distinct grammatical units from which words are formed. But
you (older thou)
your (older thy)
you (older ye)
he, she, it
him, her, it
him, her, it (olde
Today, nouns may be categorised in terms of number (singular or plural) and case (possessive
or not). A paradigm for all the forms of a noun is called a declension, and to write a paradigm
for a particular noun is called declining the noun.
6. Clipping: words created by cutting off the beginning or the end of a word, or both,
leaving a part to stand for the whole. Examples are: lab, dorm, prof, exam, plane, phone,
flu, fridge, sitcom, math(s). Cf. Also US English pissed.
7. Acronymy: acronym
Varieties of English Around the World
Apart from the United States, Canada is the only English-speaking nation in North America.
Pockets of English speakers can be found along the Caribbean coast of Central and South America
(English is the
Websters dictionary has been considered authoritative in the United States and is
responsible for some of the following spelling differences.
Differences between American and British Spellings
The Great Vowel Shift
The Great Vowel Shift was a change in
pronunciation that began around 1400 and
separates Middle English from Modern English.
In linguistic terms, the shift was rather sudden,
the major changes occurring within a century.
The shift is
Early Modern English
The Middle English period came to a
close around 1500 AD with the rise of
Early Modern English (15001800)
The Renaissance brought the revival of
classical scholarship and brought many
classical Latin and Greek words
Middle English: 1100-1500
It was not until the14th century300
years laterthat English became
dominant in Britain again. In 1399, King
Henry IV became the first king of England
since the Norman Conquest whose
mother tongue was English. By the end of
Shakespeare wrote in
Elizabethan English has
much more in common
with our language today
than it does with the
language of Chaucer. Many
familiar words and phrases
were coined or first
recorded by Shakespeare.
Some 2,000 words
The Canterbury Tales
Here bygynneth the Book
of the tales of Caunterbury
Here begins the Book of the
Whan that aprill with his
The droghte of march
hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne
Of which vertu engendred
Influence of Old English
The majority of words in modern English
come from foreign, not Old English roots.
Only about one sixth of the known Old
English words have descendants surviving
today. But this is deceptive; Old English is
much more important than
The Norman Conquest and
the Development of
Middle English (11001500)
William the Conqueror invaded and
conquered England and the AngloSaxons in 1066 AD.
Norman Influences: Latin
Prior to the Norman Conquest, Latin had
been only a minor influence on the
Old English (500-1066 AD)
West Germanic invaders from
Jutland and southern
Saxons, and Jutes began to
settle in the British Isles in
the fifth and sixth centuries
AD. They spoke a mutually
intelligible language that is
called Old Englis