Social and Territorial Varieties of English Pronunciation/American Dialects

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Today all the English-speaking nations have their own national variants of pronunciation and each of them has peculiar features that distinguish it from other varieties of English.

African-American English is most commonly spoken by urban working-class and largely dialectal middle-class African Americans.

  • Consonant Cluster Reduction
  • Realization of /T/ and /D/ as /t,f/ and /d,v/
  • Vowel Lowering
  • /z/ -> [d] in Contractions
  • R-lessness

American Indian is the lingua franca of India.

  • The Central Diphthong
  • Final Devoicing
  • Deletion of Final Voiced Stops
  • Final [iɳ] -> [in]
  • Vowel Shift
  • Consonant Cluster Reduction

Australian English is a major variety of the English language and is used throughout Australia.

  • is non-rhotic
  • the /r/ sound does not appear at the end of a syllable
  • Yod-dropping occurs after /r/, /l/, /s/, /z/, /θ/, /tʃ/, /dʒ/, /j/ and /ɹ/
  • The affixes -ary, -ery, -ory, -bury, -berry and -mony can be pronounced either with a full vowel

Canadian English is the variety of English spoken in Canada.

  • contains elements of British English and American English
  • usually spelled with -ize or -yze rather than -ise or -yse
  • Some nouns take -ice while matching verbs take -ise

Chicano English is one major variation of Chicano English is Tejano English, used mainly in south Texas.

  • The rhythm tends to be syllable-timed
  • The devoicing of [z] in all environments
  • The devoicing of [v] in word-final position
  • /t/ and /d/ are realized as dental stops [t̪] and [d̪]
  • Chicano English speakers may merge [æ] and [ɛ], before the [l]

North American English is the broadest variety of the English language as spoken in North America, including all dialects of the United States and Canada.

  • generally agreed to include is rhotic pronunciation
  • maintains the /ɹ/ sound whenever it appears in a word
  • the reduction of vowel contrasts before historic /ɹ/
  • has yod-dropping after alveolar consonants

Southern American English is spoken throughout the Southern United States, from the southern extremities of Ohio, Indiana, Maryland, and Delaware, West Virginia and Kentucky to the Gulf Coast, and from the Atlantic coast to most of Texas and Oklahoma, and the far eastern section of New Mexico.

  • Southern Vowel Shift
  • /z/ -> [d] in Contractions
  • /E/ -> /I/ before Nasals
  • Post-Coronal Glides
  • Vowel Lowering
  • Monophthongization
  • R-lessness
  • The Central Diphthong