View previous topic | View next topic

Accents.

Page 1 of 2
Goto page 1, 2  Next

tp
774994.  Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:13 am Reply with quote

The accent of which UK city most closely resembles the Queen's English?





Inverness.
Apparently anyway. I can't remember where I heard or read this but having been there it seems reasonable enough. The highlands generally have a very soft accent compared to the hard Glasgee accent.

 
Starfish13
775115.  Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:23 pm Reply with quote

Reeeeally? A good example of an Inverness accent would be this lady.

Really obvious in the words BBCeeeee and strippar, although she doesn't speak as slowly as a typical person from Inverness.

Another word typical of an Invernesian accent would be sweeeman. As in sweeeman pool.

 
tp
775238.  Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:35 am Reply with quote

I would say so. Although there is a definate accent she is far closer to RP than your average scouser, brummie, geordie or any other city I can think of, including Cockney.

 
soup
775316.  Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:23 am Reply with quote

I vote for Starfish to be our teuchter-accent expert.

 
Starfish13
775345.  Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:49 am Reply with quote

I can speak goooood Invarneeeezz, and watch Trawlermen withoot reading the subtitles, but that's abooot it.

 
tp
775490.  Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:48 pm Reply with quote

I can find plenty of people on the web who wite the fact that inverness in closer the RP than any other cities accent but I can't find a source for it.

 
bobwilson
775700.  Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:05 pm Reply with quote

Surely - the only person who speaks the Queen's English is ER?

 
CB27
775856.  Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:07 pm Reply with quote

Eleanor Roosevelt?

 
tchrist
776099.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:20 am Reply with quote

tp wrote:
I can find plenty of people on the web who wite the fact that inverness in closer the RP than any other cities accent but I can't find a source for it.

Now that’s rather interesting: would that be wit as in know or wite as in blame? (And yes, wite was pres. subj. of wit, but anyway.) Whichever it is, I didn’t realize either was still in current use! Is this a lingering northern or west midlands regionalism?

--tom

 
samivel
776483.  Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:53 am Reply with quote

It could simply be a typo for write.

 
Moosh
776491.  Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:32 am Reply with quote

samivel wrote:
It could simply be a typo for write.

Or indeed cite.

 
tchrist
776492.  Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:33 am Reply with quote

samivel wrote:
It could simply be a typo for write.

Maybe so. There’s no apostrophe after cities nor s after accent either. And in closer should likely be is closer, and inverness should be Inverness.

So it is not carefully written.

But then you’d still get “people on the web who write the fact that”, which doesn’t really scan for me. So I dunno.

It’s like my brain has a (bad) spelling correcter built into it, in that I often see typos as exotic words rather than errors on first reading. I think it may come from reading so many non‐English languages in which a one‐letter change (or sometimes less) indeed generates a completely different word, which you then have to understand.

--tom

 
tp
776503.  Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:10 am Reply with quote

tchrist wrote:

Maybe so. There’s no apostrophe after cities nor s after accent either. And in closer should likely be is closer, and inverness should be Inverness.

So it is not carefully written.

But then you’d still get “people on the web who write the fact that”, which doesn’t really scan for me. So I dunno.

It’s like my brain has a (bad) spelling correcter built into it, in that I often see typos as exotic words rather than errors on first reading. I think it may come from reading so many non‐English languages in which a one‐letter change (or sometimes less) indeed generates a completely different word, which you then have to understand.

--tom


Ok, I know this forum has a higher than average number of pedants and I will be the first to admit that my post was appallingly typed. But really, is this level of analysis really called for. Did you really, truly think that I meant wite, rather than write? And whilst we are on the subject do other languages really contain more sets of words that are a letter or less different? I find that hard to believe considering English has far more words than the average language.

 
tchrist
776554.  Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:44 pm Reply with quote

tp wrote:
Did you really, truly think that I meant wite, rather than write?

Yep, I really, truly thought so. I always find it easier to take things literally than to imagine things unwritten, since those possibilities are in effect limitless: better to deal with the devil you see than with legions you don’t see.

You’re welcome to consider this a learning disability of peculiar to me; I often do. Occam would not be pleased with me. Sorry.

Mind you, I had dismissed write because the resulting sentence no longer scanned for me. So I went looking for a literal meaning. I found some, but didn’t understand it because it wasn’t in my active working vocabulary. I certainly knew wit meaning to know, but neither use it myself nor am accustomed to reading it in contemporary writing. I hadn’t known wite meaning to guilt, as it were.

People on the net regularly write in dialect, many of which I am myself unfamiliar with. So I didn’t know. That’s why I asked.

I hadn’t thought of cite because although the edit distance is only one away by some metrics, it’s further away than that using the typewriter-based fumblefinger metric. Sure, you can argue that I should have guessed at an error rather than some dialect usage unknown to me, and you’d probably be sensible to do so. I don’t pretend to be sensible. I just play the hand that’s dealt me, even if that means dealing with the occasional joker.

tp wrote:
And whilst we are on the subject do other languages really contain more sets of words that are a letter or less different? I find that hard to believe considering English has far more words than the average language.

The answer to your question is a provisional yes, they do. I provide discrete examples of this below. But the main problem is that your assumption that English has “far more words than the average language” is far from certain. To be true would require agreement about so many slippery terms that it is a nearly meaningless assertion, including but not limited to English, far more, words, average, and language, both when used separately and together.

If that is really what is driving your doubt, you should probably reconsider your assumption more carefully. See Oxford’s FAQs on How many words are there in the English language? and Is it true that English has the most words of any language? for why such questions cannot really be answered with any sort of precision, if at all.

English is not a strongly inflected language, but many other Indo-European languages are. Because of this, a single citation form in those languages can easily give rise to scores and scores of variants. Just in verbs alone, consider how many conjugations there are for French tenir, Spanish marcar, or the German fahren. For declensions, consider the many, many declensions of Finnish, or the vexing similarities in Latin between the declensions of bellum/bellī meaning war and those of bellus/bella/bellum meaning pretty.

So unlike English, more highly languages have scads and scads of different flavors of any given word, not just 2 or 3 the way English tends to have. If you count those as different — which you must when reading — you cannot really assert that English has many more words than the average language has. Wherever English has a single word with a couple of inflections, plenty of languages have instead zillions of words.

Now, do you see how excruciatingly close many of those are? Once your brain gets used to seeing minute changes in spelling signalling a change in meaning, then whenever you see a minute spelling change you automatically consider a shift in meaning. Or at least I do.

This happens even in relatively simple (for us) languages like French, where résume is different from résumes let alone from résumé and résumée and résumés and résumées, which all mean something different even though you can’t usually hear the difference in speech.

So yes, I did think you wrote what you’d meant to write, but you’re welcome to consider this a perverse sort of learning disability. I’m sorry you confused me. I’m easily confused — and slow to see the obvious even when it’s right in front of my face. I must have been bounced on my head as a small child.

 
suze
776638.  Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:12 pm Reply with quote

tchrist wrote:
But the main problem is that your assumption that English has “far more words than the average language” is far from certain. To be true would require agreement about so many slippery terms that it is a nearly meaningless assertion, including but not limited to English, far more, words, average, and language, both when used separately and together.


As noted, the question "Which language has the most words?" is impossible to answer.

It is, however, possible to answer a question which many laypersons might consider to be an equivalent one. That question is "Which language is the subject of the dictionary with the most headword entries?".

Now, this question does raise some other issues. We'll sidestep "What is a dictionary?" and "What is a headword?", since they're not particularly interesting. Instead, we'll note that not all languages have been treated to the exhaustive lexicography that the major languages of Europe and Asia have. There are endangered languages which have no dictionary at all. There are more which have nothing beyond a list of one hundred or so common words together with their equivalents in English.

But for what it's worth, the answer to the question "Which language is the subject of the dictionary with the most headword entries?" is Dutch.

 

Page 1 of 2
Goto page 1, 2  Next

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group