English Language Part II

English Language Part II

New English

According to thenailmythology.com, New English has a very limited stock of inflections. With a few exceptions, the plural is formed by adding an -s. In the pronominal system, three cases are formally distinguished (“he”, “him”, “his”), in the nominal system two cases (“the boy”, “the boy’s”). New English knows almost only one natural gender and essentially distinguishes between two modes (the subjunctive only occurs to a very limited extent) and three time stages: “present” and “past” and “future”. The »progressive aspect«, the form (»he is singing«), is differentiated in almost all tenses. The meaning of a sentence is determined by the position of the parts of the sentence, the use of functional words (such as prepositions, articles, forms of “to do” and other auxiliary verbs), by differences between the parts of speech (“friend”, “friendly”, “friendliness”, “To befriend” etc.) as well as factors such as intonation, intonation and pauses in speaking. New English has a very extensive and heterogeneous vocabulary (around 210,000 root words with 500,000 to 750,000 terms), which is explained by history, distribution and contact with other languages ​​and cultures. It also knows a large number of sometimes very productive word formation processes, such as composition (“crash barrier”, “de” + “frost” + “er” = “defroster”, “to employ” + “ee” = “employee”), Abbreviation (“ad” from “advertisement”, “fridge” from “refrigerator”) and contraction (“motel” from “motor” and “hotel”). The spontaneous formation of new words shows up in the phenomenon of conversion or zero derivation, i.e. H. the use of a word in another class of words (“to father”), in regression (“to babysit” from “babysitter”) and in letter words such as B. the acronyms “UNESCO” and “VIP”. Another characteristic feature is the frequent use of complex idiomatic structures, such as B. Verb plus particle (“to blow up”). In the orthography showed after the introduction of the letterpress W. Caxton (1476) first tendencies towards standardization. With “A dictionary of the English language” (1755) by S. Johnson the English orthography was largely determined. It reflects the sound level of late Middle English, i.e. H. the time around 1500. Subsequent sound developments, the v. a. led to considerable changes in the area of ​​the vowels (“great vowel shift”), are no longer taken into account. Etymologizing spellings (»debt« [det] from Latin »debitum«), homophones ([si ː n], written »seen« or »scene«), homographs (»lead«, spoken [li ːd] or [led]) and others. show how much sound and writing diverge. This fact encouraged considerable discrepancies in pronunciation between the individual geographical variants, but it also had a stabilizing effect on the vocabulary, morphology and syntax of “Standard English”.

Regional and social variants

The difference between British English and its variants is mainly in the pronunciation, as well as in the vocabulary. It used to be called the widely accepted model, v. a. English of the educated upper class of southern England, characterized by the written language, is “King’s (or Queen’s) English”, often called “Oxford English” in Germany. Today it is less elitist than “Standard English”. The main difference between this and the dialects lies in the pronunciation, and so “Standard English” v. a. characterized by the »received pronunciation« (accepted norm of pronunciation, uniform and free of regional features). Among the English dialects the “Cockney”, the language of many Londoners v. a. from the East End, and the North and West English dialects. The following pronunciations are characteristic of the “Cockney”: [ka ɪ k] for “cake”, [n ɔ ɪ t] for “night”, [na ʊ ] for “no”, [næ ʊ ] for “now” and die a habit known as “dropping one’s” hs “(omitting the” h “); B. when pronouncing hat [æt]. For the northern English dialects, pronunciations like [l ʊ v] for “love”, [kat] for “cat”, [ke ː k] for “cake”, [go ː] typical for “go” and [baθ] for “bath”; B. initial voiced “s” and “f”. Important regional variants on the British Isles also include Scottish (often called “Scottish Standard English”, a variant of southern English located in the north) and Angloir (in the south of Ireland mainly through Gaelic substrate, in the north through Scottish influenced).

The most important variant of the English language alongside British English is American English, whose roots can be found in the English language form of the Elizabethan age. It differs only slightly from British English in syntax and morphology. In vocabulary (e.g. “sidewalk” meaning “sidewalk” versus “pavement” in British English; “creek” for “Bach” versus “small bay” in British English) and in spelling (e.g. ” center “versus” center “in British English;” honor “versus” honor “in British English) the differences are more significant. Particularly characteristic, however, is the pronunciation of American English: “dance” with the pronunciation [dæns] opposite [d ɑ ːns] in British English, “suit” with the pronunciation [su ː t] versus [sju ː t] in British English, “bird” with the pronunciation [bərd] versus [bə ː d] in British English; the nasality (»nasal twang«) of vowels near [m, n, ŋ ] and the »drawl«, an extension of the words. The “General American”, the pronunciation that is typical for the Pennsylvania area on the westward, is now internationally recognized as the “received pronunciation” of British English on an equal footing. The regional differences in American English are smaller than those of British English; it is divided into three major language regions: “Northern”, “Midland” and “Southern”. This is a special social and ethnic form Black English (Ebonics); here z. B. “th” to “t”, the “r” is lost.

The Canadian English is the American English quite close, v. a. in its pronunciation; but it also has a lot in common with British English, v. a. in parts of the vocabulary. The Australian English and New Zealand English are closely oriented to the British “Standard English” when they also have some peculiarities in vocabulary and pronunciation. South African English is clearly influenced by Afrikaans in both syntax and vocabulary; Various African languages ​​have also influenced lexicons and pronunciation.

The linguistic situation in India – and in East and West Africa – is different from that in the countries listed so far, because English is not the mother tongue here. Only between 1% and 3% of Indians speak English, but the influence of this upper class is great. English is the language of the educated; Science, technology and administration use them. The English language is the medium of supraregional communication. The situation is similar in the East African countries Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi. In West Africa (and especially in Gambia, Ghana, Cameroon, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone) the English language is more stable in its social and linguistic status than in East Africa and India.

English Language 2