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English Accents and Dialects: An Introduction to Social and Regional Varieties of English in the British Isles Paperback – 27 Apr 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 5 edition (27 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444121383
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444121384
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 1.5 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 337,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

'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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At under 200 pages this is a concise yet robust introduction to the phonetic construction of English dialects in the UK. The CD is excellent and this will act as a solid underpinning to anyone studying dialectology. I almost graded the book at 4/5 stars but did not proceed for two reasons.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book describes regional variation in accents and dialects in Britain. It provides a brief description to ways of describing sounds, and then describes the language of several regions. I think it is essential to purchase the cassette that goes with the book - and what a pity that it is a cassette, rather than a CD. I think the book would be slightly heavy going unless you're quite familiar with the IPA notation. Also, I would have liked to have seen more accents covered - or at least more discussion of variation of accents within the region described. And no Hampshire! No highland Scots! No Manchester versus Leeds!
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Format: Audio Cassette
The tape is essential to understanding the book. As the book happens to be the most up to date reference for modern British dialects, buying one without the other is rather like buying one shoe!
Any one with a passing interest in language would love this tape + book. Would also be of use to actors researching accents.
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Format: Paperback
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, always a delight for any long suffering linguistics students. Very handy for quick reference I would recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
Trudgill in a clear and interesting way guides us through the main dialects of the British Isles. The most up to date work on the subject, he covers modern urban speech as well as rural dialects. Some knowledge of linguistics is needed.
The tape that goes with this book is essential.
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Format: Paperback
This is the first product that I have ever reviewed on Amazon, but I really wanted to take the time to do it as I have found this book and CD to be so invaluable. I am constantly picking it up for a quick reference, even after having owned a copy for years.

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!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have earlier versions of this useful handbook but this is by far the best version. It is much expanded and the gaps that existed in the earlier versions have now been filled. the only downside for me is that the accompnaying accent/dialect resources are now accessible online and I would have preferred a CD to be included with the book, as with previous editions. However, I am sure that for many practitioners, the onlione resources are preferable.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are interested in the study of variation within GB then this book will bode well. It is often a core text for university students and forms a very strong basis for further study. Highly recommended.
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