Differences And Similarities Between Received Pronunciation And Cockney Dialect

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“Language variation means that a given language like English is not one uniform and homogeneous system, but that it contains many, slightly or strongly diverging subsystems or varieties.” (Dirven 2004: 204) In order to understand the term variety different concepts must be defined. This essay discusses the differences and similarities of the concepts of accent and dialect. While the first part of this essay deals with the term accent, the second part deals with its contrast term, the dialect. Lastly, the Received Pronunciation accent and the Cockney dialect are compared on the basis of their grammatical and phonological features. An accent can be defined as “a particular way of pronouncing a language, seen as typical of an individual, a geographical …show more content…
Cockney English is the traditional name for the dialect used only by the working-class of the people living in the East of London and is therefore regarded as a mixture of a regiolect and a sociolect (cf. Cruttenden 2008: 86). When comparing Received Pronunciation with Cockney English, one can detect no differences concerning the vowel phonemes and only a few differences in lexis; nonetheless, there are various differences of realization (cf. Ibid). The short front vowels are closer than in Received Pronunciation, for instance, sat may sound like set and set may sound like sit (cf. Ibid). Another feature from Cockney English is that the final vowel in city is pronounced as /i:/ in contrast to /ɪ/ used in Received Pronunciation (cf. Hughes 2005: 74). Concerning the consonants there are additional differences, for example the omission of h and the use of dark /ł/. Dark /ł/ means that “/l/ in positions not immediately before vowels, becomes vocalic /ʊ/, e.g. milk /mʊɪk/.” (Cruttenden 2008: 86) Furthermore, the th-fronting is common in Cockney English, in particular /θ/ is replaced by /f/ so that thought sounds like fought, and /ð/ is replaced by /v/ so that other rhymes with cover (cf. Trudgill 2004: 37). Lastly, “/t/ is realized as a glottal stop following vowels, laterals and nasals, e.g. butter /bʌʔǝ/”(Cruttenden 2008: 86/87) …show more content…
Consequently, every individual speaks a dialect with an accent. After comparing both concepts, it seems that they are clearly distinctive. However, it is important to remember that in active language usage these terms are not clearly distinguishable, because they vanish and “normally go together”. (Trudgill 1999:

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