Peculiarities of British and American Variants in the English Language

Topics: English language, English dialects, American English Pages: 76 (27970 words) Published: April 3, 2013

Chapter I Historical background of the English Language
I. 1. A short history of the origins and development of English I. 2. Varieties of English
I. 3. English as a global language
I.4. Writing system
Chapter II Peculiarities of British and American variants in the English language II. 1. Peculiarities of American and British English and their differences II. 2. American and British English lexical differences

II. 3. Grammatical Peculiarities of American and British English II. 4. Social and cultural differences


The theme of my Diploma paper is “Peculiarities of British and American variants in the English Language”. The purpose of my Diploma paper is to investigate peculiarities of British and American variants in the English Language. Every language allows different kinds of variations: geographical or territorial, perhaps the most obvious, stylistic, the difference between the written and the spoken form of the standard national language and others. It is the national language of England proper, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and some provinces of Canada. It is the official language of Wales, Scotland, in Gibraltar and on the island of Malta. Modern linguistics distinguishes territorial variants of a national language and local dialects. Variants of a language are regional varieties of a standard literary language characterized by some minor peculiarities in the sound system, vocabulary and grammar and by their own literary norms. The task of our Diploma paper is to reveal the main peculiarities of British and American variants in the English Language; i.e. when we speak about the English language in general, we often ignore some very important differences between several varieties of this language. Some people argue that it is the same language and whichever variant a person speaks, he is sure to be understood everywhere. This is only partially true because of the differences between two countries, two peoples, two cultures, and we cannot, in fact, divorce language and culture. The theoretical value of work is to find differences between British English and American English which can be the main task of the Diploma paper. Presented Diploma paper consists of Introduction, two Chapters, Conclusion, Appendix and Bibliography. Introduction is about some differences between BrE and AmE. The first Chapter of the Diploma paper gives the historical background of the English language and its link with other languages. The second Chapter of the Diploma paper speaks about peculiarities of British and American variants in the English language. Conclusion is the summary of our paper. In Appendix, we have included some examples. The appearance of the American variant of the English language is the result of a long process of independent development of the people who settled in a new place to arrange a new way of life. They didn’t give new names to old things, but very often they filled old words with new meanings and borrowed new words from their native languages, that’s why today for the British and Americans the same words can have different connotations and implications even if they denote the same things or phenomena. Oscar Wilde wrote, `The English have really everything in common with the Americans, except a course of language.` Standard English – the official language of Great Britain taught at schools and universities, used by the press, the radio and the television and spoken by educated people may be defined as that form of English which is current and literary, substantially uniform and recognized as acceptable wherever English is spoken or understood. Its vocabulary is contrasted to dialect words or dialectisms belonging to various local dialects. Local dialects are varieties of the English language peculiar to some districts and having no normalized literary form. Regional varieties possessing a literary form...

Bibliography: 1. Abbot E.A. A Shakespearian Grammar. Ld., 1881.
2. Barber Ch. Linguistic Change in Present-day English. Ld., 1958.
3. Bartlett, John R. (1848). Dictionary of Americanisms: A Glossary of Words and Phrases Usually Regarded As Peculiar to the United States. New York: Bartlett and Welford.
4. Björkman E. Scandinavian Loan-Words in Middle English. Halle, 1900-1902.
5. Brook G.L. A history of the English Language. Ld., 1958.
6. Curme G.O. The development of verbal Compounds in Germanic. “Beitrage zur Geshichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur”. V.39. 1904.
7. Dobson E.J. English Pronunciation 1400-1600. Oxford, 1957.
8. Emerson O.F. A Middle English Reader. Ld., 1915.
9. Ferguson, Charles A.; & Heath, Shirley Brice (Eds.). (1981). Language in the USA. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
10. Finegan, Edward. (2004). American English and its distinctiveness. In E. Finegan & J.R. Rickford (Eds.), Language in the USA: Themes for the twenty-first century (pp. 18–38). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
11. Finegan, Edward; & Rickford, John R. (Eds.). (2004). Language in the USA: Themes for the twenty-first century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
12. Frazer, Timothy (Ed.). (1993). Heartland English. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.
13. Garner, Bryan A. (2003). Garner 's Modern American Usage. New York: Oxford University Press.
14. Glowka, Wayne; & Lance, Donald (Eds.). (1993). Language variation in North American English. New York: Modern Language Association.
15. Jespersen, Otto. A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles. Copenhagen, 1942. Part VI.
16. Kellner L. Historical Outlines of English Syntax. Ld., 1882.
17. Kenyon, John S. (1950). American pronunciation (10th ed.). Ann Arbor: George Wahr.
18. Kortmann, Bernd; Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Mesthrie, Rajend; & Upton, Clive (Eds.). (2004). A handbook of varieties of English: Morphology and syntax (Vol. 2). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
19. MacNeil, Robert; & Cran, William. (2005). Do you speak American?: A companion to the PBS television series. New York: Nan A. Talese, Doubleday.
20. Marchand H. The Categories and Types of Present-Day English Word-Formation. Wiesbaden, 1960.
21. Mathews, Mitford M. (ed.) (1951). A Dictionary of Americanisms on Historical Principles. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
22. McCue G.S. A Graphic History of English Stressed Vowels. Denver (Col.), Swallow, 1958.
23. McKnight G.H. Modern English in the Making. New York – London, 1928.
24. Mencken, H.L. (1936, repr. 1977). The American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States (4th edition). New York: Knopf. (1921 edition online:
25. Mincoff M
26. Mustanoya T.F. A Middle English Syntax. Helsinki, 1960.
27. Nist J.A Structural History of English. New York, 1966.
28. Partridge E. The World of Words. Ld., 1938.
29. Schlauch, Margaret. The English Language in Modern Times. Warszawa, 1965.
30. Schneider, Edgar (Ed.). (1996). Focus on the USA. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
31. Schneider, Edgar W.; Kortmann, Bernd; Burridge, Kate; Mesthrie, Rajend; & Upton, Clive (Eds.). (2004). A handbook of varieties of English: Phonology (Vol. 1). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
32. Simpson, John (ed.) (1989). Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
33. Thomas, Erik R. (2001). An acoustic analysis of vowel variation in New World English. Publication of American Dialect Society (No. 85). Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
34. Thompson, Charles K. (1958). An introduction to the phonetics of American English (2nd ed.). New York: The Ronald Press Co.
35. Wardale E.E. An Introduction to Middle English grammar. Ld., 1937.
36. Webster 's Third New International Dictionary of Ihe English Language. Springfield, Mass.. 1961.
37. Wolfram, Walt; & Schilling-Estes, Natalie. (2005). American English: Dialects and variation. 2nd Edition. Malden, MA: Basil Blackwell.
48. Wyld H. C.A History of Modern Colloquial English. Oxford, 1936.
49. Гинзбург Р.С., Хидеккель С.С., Князева Г.Ю., Санкин А.А., Лексикология современного английского языка (на англ. яз.) М., 1968.
50. Ильиш Б.А. История английского языка. М. 1968
51. Каращук П.М
52. Плоткин В.Я. Динамика английской фонологической системы. Новосибирск, 1967.
53. Смирницкий А.И. История английского языка (средний и новый периоды). М., МГУ, 1965.
54. Соссюр Ф. де. Труды по языкознанию/Пер. с фр. М., 1977.
55. Чейф У.Л. Значение и структура языка/Пер. с англ. М., 1975.
56. Швейцер А.Д. Очерк современного английского языка в США. М. , 1963.
57. Ярцева В.Н. Развитие национального литературного английского языка. М., 1969.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • american english or british english Essay
  • English Language for Dummies Essay
  • Essay about English Language and British English
  • Essay about American English and British English
  • Differences between British and American English Essay
  • Essay on British English vs. American English
  • American and British English Essay
  • american sign language Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free