LIN 321L • American English
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
We begin by examining the main differences in pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar between British English and American English, focusing on the varieties referred to as Received Pronunciation (RP) and General American (GA). We then move on to an examination of the non-standard variety of American English known as New York City English (Brooklynese), centering on the sociolinguistic work of the American linguist William Labov. Here, we will discuss social class, gender and ethnicity. We then examine the history, structure and social status of Black American English. We will also examine accent switching from one American accent to another, and the influence of American pronunciation on British pop singers. We will make use of both video and audio recordings on a regular basis.
Excerpts from: Collins, B. & Mees, I.M. (2003). Practical Phonetics and Phonology. London: Routledge. (Selected extracts from the book and the audio CD) McCrum, R. (1992). The Story of English. London: Penguin. (Selected extract on Black American English, and video recording from the accompanying BBC television series) Trudgill, P. (2000). Sociolinguistics. London. Penguin. (Sections on Labovs work in New York City) Wells, J.C. (1982). Accents of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (Sections on American English)