American and British English Pronunciation Differences

Topics: English phonology, English language, Stress Pages: 11 (2729 words) Published: May 26, 2013
American and British English pronunciation differences
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Comparison of
American and
British English|
American English
British English|
American words not
widely used in BritainBritish words not widely
used in AmericaWords having different
meanings in British and
American English:
A–L · M–Z|
Works with different titles
in the UK and US|
* v * t * e|

| This article may contain original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding references. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. (October 2012) |

| This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (October 2012) | Differences in pronunciation between American English (AmE) and British English (BrE) can be divided into: * differences in accent (i.e. phoneme inventory and realisation). See differences between General American and Received Pronunciation for the standard accents in the United States and Britain; for information about other accents see regional accents of English speakers. * differences in the pronunciation of individual words in the lexicon (i.e. phoneme distribution). In this article, transcriptions use Received Pronunciation (RP) to represent BrE and General American (GAm) and to represent AmE. In the following discussion

* superscript A2 after a word indicates the BrE pronunciation of the word is a common variant in AmE * superscript B2 after a word indicates the AmE pronunciation of the word is a common variant in BrE Contents * 1 Stress * 1.1 French stress * 1.2 -ate and -atory * 1.3 Miscellaneous stress * 2 Affixes * 2.1 -ary -ery -ory -bury, -berry, -mony * 2.2 -ile * 2.3 -ine * 3 Weak forms * 4 Miscellaneous pronunciation differences * 4.1 Single differences * 4.2 Multiple differences * 5 References| Stress

French stress
For many loanwords from French where AmE has final-syllable stress, BrE stresses an earlier syllable. Such words include: * BrE first-syllable stress: adultA2,B2, balletA2, baton, beret, bidet, blasé, brevetA2, brochureB2, buffet, caféA2, canardB2, chagrin, chaletA2, chauffeurA2,B2, chiffon, clichéB2, coupé, croissant, debrisB2, debut, décor, detailA2, détenteB2, flambé, frappé, garageB2, gateau, gourmetA2, lamé, montageA2, parquet, pastel, pastille, pâté, précis, sachet, salon, soupçon, vaccine; matinée, négligée, nonchalant, nondescript; also some French names, including BernardB2, Calais, Degas, Dijon, Dumas, Francoise, ManetA2, Maurice, MonetA2, Pauline, Renault, RenéB2, Renoir, Rimbaud, DelacroixB2. * BrE second-syllable stress: attaché, consommé, décolleté, déclassé, De Beauvoir, Debussy, démodé, denouement, distingué, Dubonnet, escargot, exposé, fiancé(e)A2, retroussé A few French words have other stress differences:

* AmE first-syllable, BrE last-syllable: addressA2 (postal), moustacheA2; cigaretteA2, limousineB2, magazineB2, * AmE first-syllable, BrE second-syllable: liaisonA2, macramé, Renaissance (AmE also final-syllable stress) * AmE second-syllable, BrE last-syllable: New OrleansA2

-ate and -atory
Most 2-syllable verbs ending -ate have first-syllable stress in AmE and second-syllable stress in BrE. This includes castrate, dictateA2, donateA2, locateA2, mandateB2, migrate, placate, prostrate, pulsate, rotate, serrateA2,B2, spectate, striated, translateA2, vacate, vibrate; in the case of cremate, narrate, placate, the first vowel is in addition reduced to /ə/ in BrE. Examples where AmE and BrE match include create, debate, equate, elate, negate, orate, relate with second-syllable stress (though in American...
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