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35415Re: [Czechlist] ireferaty

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  • Valerie Talacko
    Feb 1, 2008
      No way is American intonation more monotonous (unless you've been watching a lot of Westerns). In fact it seems to me to be quite the opposite - the trend seems to have been for intonation variation to become more pronounced in AmEng, whereas in the UK it is (or was) trendy to speak in more of a monotone. Very upper-class BritEng intonation has pretty pronounced rises and falls, but that's now a fairly small subset of speakers. Scottish and Welsh accents also have more pronounced intonational differences.

      I've also been told AmEng is easier to understand, but I think that's because of things such as the preservation of the post-vocalic r sound. And the the fact that BritEng has changed in this and other respects doesn't make it 'more developed.'

      When do you call pants trousers, btw? (and a store a shop - I did know this but have forgotten)


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: James Kirchner
      To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Friday, February 01, 2008 9:51 AM
      Subject: [Czechlist] ireferaty

      Thank you for leading us to this site, Jennifer. I didn't know about
      it. It's very useful, both as an information source and as an
      anthropological curiosity.

      The most interesting part for me are the "maturitni otazky",
      particularly the ones for English.

      I see nothing much has changed in those swallowed-and-regurgitated
      texts. One of them still has the title "My Daily Program", which
      always sounded quite Czenglish to me, so I used to make the kids say,
      "My Daily Routine".

      The other thing I used to spit fire over was the list of vocabulary
      "differences" between US and UK English. For example:

      pants is called trousers
      store is called shop
      general store is called department store

      It would be more realistic to say, "Americans call trousers pants,
      except when they call them trousers," and, "Americans call a shop a
      store, except then they call it a shop."

      And I have never heard of a town having a "general store" since the
      cowboy-and-Indian days.

      And then there are these classics:

      "the American pronunciation has preserved a feature of the language in
      its earlier stages of development while the British pronunciation of
      these days appears to be more developed in comparison with it."

      More developed?

      "In comparison with the lively British intonation, the American
      intonation seems to be somehow monotonous. The melody of the speech is
      simpler as there are not rises and falls of the speech and that is why
      American English is easier to understand than British English."


      Where do they get this stuff?


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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