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English: Scottish, Welsh, Irish
By Sharon White

History of language development in England, Scotland, Wells, and the Republic of Ireland.

Standard English and regional dialects

British English has a standard accent called Received Pronunciation (RP), used mainly by the middle classes, especially in the south. For almost two hundred years, until about 1960, RP was the accent of most educated Englishman, particularly those who attended public schools. Today there is a growing tendency to regard a slight regional accents as acceptable. A number of regional accents are used in Britain. One major distinguishing feature is the pronunciation of certain sounds.

For example, the Scots and Irish pronounce the 'r' constant in all positions, whereas in RP 'r' is dropped before a consonant. In some dialects 'h' at the beginning of a word is often dropped. In England we can distinguish Northern, Midlands and South Western dialects.

Scottish English

The Scots speak English, but with their own accent. The various Scottish dialects should not be confused with Gaelic, the Celtic language spoken in the north and west of the country. Scottish Gaelic, the traditional language of Scotland, is basically the same language as Irish Gaelic, and Gaelic speakers from the two countries can usually manage to understand each other. There are still plenty of people in Scotland, particularly in the Highlands, who understand Gaelic, but few places where remains the language of common conversation, apart from the Hebrides.

The variety of English spoken in Scotland by Scots descended from the language of the Saxons, who came north to avoid the Normans after 1066. Few English speakers can fully understand a true Scots speaker.

Welsh English

Welsh English is famous for its musical quality. Words are usually stressed in a different way than in RP. Welsh people often use forms of the past participle instead of the simple past tense, e.g. He never seen her. Another interesting feature of Welsh English is the sentence filler 'look you', which means 'you know'. A great number of people in Wales still use their native language, called Cymraeg or Cymric (from Cymru, meaning Wales), one of the oldest languages in Europe.

Irish English

Under the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland, the Irish language is the national language of the country, English being the second. The Irish language belongs to the Celtic branch of the Indo-European family of languages. According to statistics, about 30 per cent of the population of the Republic of Ireland claim to have knowledge of Irish, although Irish Gaelic is in decline, it has influenced Irish English. A popular construction used in Ireland is to be after doing, e.g. He's after reading a book, which means that he has just finished reading a book. In spelling, the English language used in Ireland follows British practice. However, the Irish accent is different from English accents, particularly from that of southeast England. It is very musical and has a characteristic intonation. In many ways the Irish accent is a relic of the English spoken in the past. Many features of Middle English, which have completely disappeared in today's Standard English, still survive in Irish English, e.g. the second person plural 'youse' instead of Standard English 'you'.

The article was produced by the member of Sharon White is a senior writer and writers consultant at term papers. Get some useful tips for thesis and buy term papers.

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