English Accents and Dialects: An Introduction to Social and Regional Varieties of English in the British Isles Paperback – 27 Apr 2012
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'This book really is a star. Written by people who really know how difficult it can be to pinpoint accents and dialects, this book provides maps and diagrams showing their locations, and differing phonological features of areas. The terminology is easily understood, so much so that it was a pleasure to read.' A reader from Essex (amazon.co.uk)
About the Author
DOMINIC WATT is Senior Lecturer in Forensic Speech Science at the University of York, UK.
ARTHUR HUGHES taught Applied Linguistics at the University of Reading for 25 years, setting up and directing the Testing and Evaluation Unit. On sabbatical from Reading, he directed English language testing projects at Bosphorus University, Istanbul (1982-84) and in the Ministry of Secondary Education, Morocco (1992-93). He was joint founder-editor of the international journal Language Testing, has published widely in the field of testing and has carried out consultancies in the UK and in several countries overseas. His book, Testing for Language Teachers, now in its second edition, was first published in 1989 and continues to be a bestseller. Though now retired, Arthur continues to write and act as a consultant.
PETER TRUDGILL is Adjunct Prof. of Socio-Linguistics at Agder University, Norway, Adjunct Professor, RCLT, La Trobe University, Australia, Professor Emeritus of English Linguistics, Fribourg University, Switzerland, Honorary Professor of Sociolinguistics, UEA, Norwich, UK
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Top Customer Reviews
1/ The somewhat broad brush definition of the West Midlands accent. Trudgill makes absolutely no mention of the phonetic divergence between say Walsall and Coventry-significant to anyone living within 30 miles of the area. Coventry's dialect in particular is much closer to Leicester's which is dealt with in great detail. I just feel dialectologist's can use the get out clause that 'we're all on a cline or continuum of accents' and then proceed to ignore quite startling contrasts with lumpen generalities. Apologies Prof.Trudgill, I am just a lowly MA student I acknolwedge but there are some big differences in the central/west midlands.
2/The second point was the technical register of the text. This was somewhat mechanical and in the mode of a scientific project report. It would have benefited I feel from a less mechanical analysis and some informal/lighter descriptive touches. Those criticisms aside, it is a first class technical primer in English dialects-well worth a look.
Any one with a passing interest in language would love this tape + book. Would also be of use to actors researching accents.
The tape that goes with this book is essential.
Obviously the way that actors learn accents varies from person to person, but for me this is just right. I love to know the "rules" of an accent, so study the phonetics of any accent very thoroughly - in this book there is a detailed description of the phonetic differences for each accent compared to standard RP (which is also explained in great detail at the start of the book). There really is a LOT of detail given, including explanations as to why any particular difference exists and pointing out any anomalies in the speaker's accent compared to others in that region.
Each accent has a word list and a transcribed passage recorded by a native speaker. However, just to make you aware, some of the recordings aren't of perfect studio quality (it sounds like some may have been recorded in the speakers' living rooms) but they are more than clear enough to hear accurately.
From what I can remember on the CD (I use the book for reference more than the CD nowadays), the word list and passage for each accent are spoken by opposite genders, again helping to pinpoint any differences there.
Yes, there are some major regional accents missing from the book, but they had to draw the line somewhere I guess. This book really is amazing value for money and I wouldn't be without it. Now if only I could find a similarly concise and detailed book for American accents!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is exactly as described by the seller. I'm very happy with the book I received. Let's hope I pass my module 😁.
totally useless unless accompanied by the cd. I ordered it twice and both times it came without the cd despite the fact that that the book itself says quite clearly that it is to... Read morePublished on 29 April 2014 by Derek L.
Provides an excellent overview of the English accents and dialects of the British Isles, but the authors have made some strange choices in their IPA transcription. Read morePublished on 24 Mar. 2014 by Bjørn-Rune Hanssen
Fascinating stuff! Very informative and detailed. I wish I had time to sit down and read it all!Published on 24 July 2011 by Gill P
The book is certainly useful and interesting. My intention was to have used it during ESL training sessions here in Germany. Read morePublished on 22 Oct. 2010 by mongolia
I cannot share any opinion because I haven't received the book yet and I ordered it more than one month ago!!!Published on 3 Nov. 2009 by E. Diaz Prada