English Literature books summary

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RP is not intrinsically superior to other varieties of English, and is, itself, only one particular dialect. It has just achieved more extensive use than others.

Widely differing regional and local dialects are still employed in the various counties of Great Britain. Other important regional dialects have also developed; for example, the English language in Ireland has retained certain individual peculiarities of pronunciation, such as the pronunciation of lave for leave and fluther for flutter; certain syntactical peculiarities, such as the use of after following forms of the verb be; and certain differences in vocabulary, including the use of archaic words such as adown (for down) and Celtic borrowings such as banshee. The Lowland Scottish dialect, sometimes called Lallans, first made known throughout the English-speaking world by the songs of the 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns, contains differences in pronunciation also, such as neebour (neighbour) and guid (good), and words of Scandinavian origin peculiar to the dialect, such as braw and bairn. The English spoken in Australia, with its marked diphthongization of vowels, also makes use of special words, retained from English regional dialect usages, or taken over from indigenous Australian terms.

8.6.American English

An important development of English outside Great Britain occurred with the colonization of North America. American English may be considered to include the English spoken in Canada, although the Canadian variety retains some features of British pronunciation, spelling, and vocabulary. The most distinguishing differences between American English and British English are in pronunciation and vocabulary. There are slighter differences in spelling, pitch, and stress as well. Written American English also has a tendency to be more rigid in matters of grammar and syntax, but at the same time appears to be more tolerant of the use of neologisms. Despite these differences, it is often difficult to determineapart from contextwhether serious literary works have been written in Great Britain or the United States/Canadaor, for that matter, in Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa.

8.7.Basic English

A simplified form of the English language based on 850 key words was developed in the late 1920s by the English psychologist Charles Kay Ogden and publicized by the English educator I. A. Richards. Known as Basic English, it was used mainly to teach English to non-English-speaking persons and promoted as an international language. The complexities of English spelling and grammar, however, were major hindrances to the adoption of Basic English as a second language.

The fundamental principle of Basic English was that any idea, however complex, may be reduced to simple units of thought and expressed clearly by a limited number of everyday words. The 850-word primary vocabulary was composed of 600 nouns (representing things or events), 150 adjectives (for qualities and properties), and 100 general operational words, mainly verbs and prepositions. Almost all the words were in common use in English-speaking countries; more than 60 per cent were one-syllable words. The abbreviated vocabulary was created in part by eliminating numerous synonyms and by extending the use of 18 basic verbs, such as make, get, do, have, and be. These verbs were generally combined with prepositions, such as up, among, under, in, and forward. For example, a Basic English student would use the expression go up instead of ascend.

8.8.Pidgin English

English also enters into a number of simplified languages that arose among non-English-speaking peoples. Pidgin English, spoken in the Melanesian islands, New Guinea, Australia, the Philippines, and Hawaii and on the Asian shores of the Pacific Ocean, developed as a means of communication between Chinese and English traders. The Chinese adopted many English words and a few indispensable non-English words and created a means of discourse, using a simple grammatical apparatus. Bche-de-Mer, a pidgin spoken in the southern and western Pacific islands, is predominantly English in structure, although it includes many Polynesian words. Chinook Jargon, used as a lingua franca by the Native Americans, French, and English on the North American Pacific coast, contains English, French, and Native American words; its grammatical structure is based on that of the Chinook language. The use of pidgin is growing in Africa, notably in Cameroon, Sierra Leone, and East Africa.

9.Future of the English Language

The influence of the mass media appears likely to result in a more standardized pronunciation, more uniform spe

: 29/03/2009