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13 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Why is North American English so important?

Because the US is the largest English speaking country, a global superpower

How did English get to North America?

Through English colonists in the 1600s. Jamestown in Virginia, and Plymouth and Massachussets. From there they expanded into the 13 colonies, governed by Britain.

Where did the colonists come from?

The first ones were from England mostly.

The second wave mostly from Northern Europe. Scandinavians, Germans, Scots. Also Black Africans.

The third wave mostly from Southern and Eastern Europe.

How did Spanish and Native American influence North American English.

Alot of words were borrowed from Native American and Spanish, especially words for new things, which was unique to the new world. Words like Maize, Ranch, burrito, and a lot of animals native to the new world, like Raccoon.

What about Scots, Irish and African languages?

They influenced accents to, but they influenced the regions and different groups of people mostly. African had more influence in the south, where there WERE a lot of africans.

What are the three different catergories of ways that Southern Standard English and General American differ?




How does it differ in spelling and why did the differences arise?

Brits use Centre, not Center.

Brits use Baptise, not baptize.

Brits say Colour, not color.

There are also some UNSYSTEMATIC differences

in spelling that generally do not

WHY - In many cases, Britain created a new form, while the US maintained an old one.

Noah Webster created an American dictionary in 1828, and that made many of the American "traits" stick.


What are the differences in vocabulary and how did they come about?

Words like Petrol/gas, Truck/lorry, eggplant/aubergine.

Some words exist in both languages but they have different meanings. Example: Biscuit and first floor.

These are differences that you will know when you see them, they are however hard to remember.

What are some differences in grammar?

Have you eaten yet? British or american

Did you eat yet? American

Have you any money? Britsh.

Has GOT, British. Has GOTTEN, American.

What are the 4 big areas of American dialects?

General American areas


Inland North (around the great lakes)

Northeastern American. (massachussets)

What characterizes General American?

It's the standard. Has NO class connotions, unlike RP.

It's RHOTIC. No intrusive R, or linking R.

Flapping - Better is pronounced like Bedder.

Yod-dropping News becomes news, not njews.

BATH TRAP merger

Palm-lot merger.

Goat is like GÅAT, not gøut.

What characterizes Southern American English?

Black Americans and British Immigrants.

NON-RHOTIC, unlike General American.

No intrusive, or linking R though.

Alveolar ING

Y'ALL instead of you all.

What characterises North Eastern American English?

General American spreading here, but it is still distinct.


The high class Boston accents is actually kind of close to RP.