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19 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
A word, phrase or other use of language characteristic of, peculiar to, or originating from the United States
Describe the major immigration movements to the USA
1) in the early 17th century: Danes, Finns, Germans, Jews, Swedes and Swiss
2) 1st half of the 19th century, another wave of immigrants from Europe, especially northern Europe
3) From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, from southern and eastern Europe
4) 1850 - 1900 big numbers of Chinese and Japanese also arrived

5) Slaves from West Africa. First in 1619. The slave trade was abolished in 1865, following the Civil War.
AAE or AAVE or Ebonics
African American English / African American Vernacular English
'the Anglicist Hypothesis'
1) The source of AAE is the non-standard English of Britain.

2) According to this theory, slaves speaking diverse African languages (groups of the same language were often broken up by slave traders) of necessity learned the varieties of English spoken by the colonists they were in local contact with, losing most traces of their ancestral language within a couple of generations.
'Creolist Hypothesis'
It proposes that an English-based creole language developed throughout the African diaspora, including the American South, where it led eventually to AAE.
the underlying linguistic layer
'Substrate Hypothesis'
It argues that the origins of AAE lie in influence from non-standard British English and in the persistence of underlying African formations.
What did Noah Webster want?
He wished to establish an American English, distinguished from British English. Webster wished it to be a unifying force for the newly independent United States. He advocated a uniform pronunciation of English throughout the United States, and a reformed, American spelling of English.
The 'Pilgrim Fathers', as they later came to be called, in their ship, the _____, made landfall at _____ ____ on 9 November ____.
Mayflower, Cape Cod, 1620
English on the Mayflower
The majority of the settlers came from the mid- to south-east of England, although among them were individuals from other parts of England too, including the north- and south-west.
Why were the Pilgrims accorded a particular founding status?
Because of the 'Mayflower Compact', a prototypical constitutional agreement between 'Saints' and 'Strangers'
Retroflex r-sound
Front of the tongue curled back along the roof of the mouth
What are the dialect regions in the USA called?
North, Midland and South dialect regions
Origin & History
What is a sound shift?
A sound shift happens when a sound that is common to a group of words changes or moves in the pronunciation over time into a different sound, with the consequence that it forces another sound (which it has become identical with) in another group of words to change also, which in turn has the same effect on another sound in another group and so on.
What are the tree major sound shifts that are affecting the vowels of American English called?
1) Northern Cities Shift
2) Southern Shift
3) Low Back Merger
Describe Low Back Merger
1) It involves the merging of two vowel sounds articulated with the back of the tongue comparatively low (but higher nevertheless than the front of the tongue) in the mouth ,so that pairs of words such as cot and caught, Don and dawn, hock and hawk, become homophones, that is, they sound the same.

2) The merged sound is often intermediate between the two earlier sounds.

3) This merger is occurring in the West of the United States across parts of the north-east and in Canada
Southern Shift
1) A chain of movements affecting a number of front vowels (articulated with the front of the tongue higher than the back.

2) Across the South region, but extending into Philadelphia and New York City

3) Sit - see it, set - say it
Northern Cities Shift
It affects the articulation of a number of short and long vowels in the Inland North region, so that Ann --> Ian, bit -> bet, lunch --> launch