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3. the standards

- Standard British English (of BBC English, SBE), but its most prestigious pronunciation (the so

called RP) is the native accent of less than 5 per cent of the population. It is

received pronunciation

the reference model in South Africa, India or Nigeria.

- General American English (genam), which contrary to common beliefs is a more conservative

variety of English.

No standard yet for the global language, but what seems to emerge is a model that mixes features

derived both from SBE and from GENAM.

1. standard british english

SBE is the English variety to which the majority of the British population attributes a clear prestige.

It comes from the local variety spoken by upper classes in the triangle London, Cambridge and


Until 1940 possessing an RP was one the criteria adopted for the selection of young officers to be

sent in the colonies and represent the Empire. The same restriction held for BBC speakers, and it is

only in the Sixties that BBC opened to different accents. RP is the native accent of only 5 per cent

of the population, while maybe 15 per cent use it when needed. On the other hand the differences

between RP and the other varieties is rapidly decreasing, due to factors such as TV and social

mobility. non rhotic

NB. RP is a accent, in which /r/ is only pronounced when it precedes a vowel, while it

falls completely in other contexts. /r/ might be articulated in linking phenomena (cf. father and son)

but this can lead in many cases to hypercorrection phenomena (law and order).

Cf. Gordon Brown: Uv5cqh26CCO

2. General American uniformity.

The English variety spoken in the USA is characterized by s strong regional The


• - very different origins of original settlers and immigrants

• - strong mobility in the country


GenAm is also a variety, probably due in the first phases, to the desire of conserving

some links with the homeland.



1. it is a variety

2. words like maintain the old pronunciation /ae/

dance, fast

3. it is characterized by a pervasive nasality (American twang)

4. flapping (t > d in intervocalic positions): metal/medal, atom/adam

5. /j/ falls in many contexts (new: /nu:/)

6. more marked accentuation.

Cf. Obama

3. Euroenglish

Born in Bruxelles corridors and other international contexts basically through two processes:

1. nativization of speech, where the typical idioms and expressions deriving from other European

languages become useful ways of speaking in English

2. fossilization of speech, by which the new non-standard structures, thanks to their frequent use,

become acceptable forms of the language.

Ex. vs.

We were five at the party There were five of us at the party.

On the other hand English influences the other European languages. It can be a rather superficial

influence, only lexical (first limited to some specific semantic fields, tem more and more extended),

or get to modify morphological pattern and syntactic structures.

Some features

1. loss of third person –s

2. determiners omission

3. used indifferently


4. as a universal tag




Some phonemes that are only present in English get modified by European speakers: this is

especially the case of vowels, reduced to the vowels of the different European languages, and to




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Questa è una dispensa che fa riferimento al corso di Inglese per il giornalismo e l'editoria tenuto dalla prof.ssa Donati. Viene spiegato come la lingua Inglese sia la prima lingua globale, i motivi per cui essa è considerata tale e le fasi di espansione culturale, economica e tecnologica. Viene spiegato,inoltre, cosa sia lo standard british english e lo GenAm dell'inglese negli USA.

Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in editoria multimediale e nuove professioni dell'informazione
A.A.: 2011-2012

I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher Atreyu di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di INGLESE PER IL GIORNALISMO E L’EDITORIA e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università La Sapienza - Uniroma1 o del prof Donati Caterina.

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