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Thread: Is it right?

  1. Genrikh

    Is it right?

    I’m a student in Russia, could you help me and check my work (tenor and grammar|lexical mistakes)?
    Thanks a lot!
    Genrikh <email address removed. Please reply here or by private message>

    Specificity of American English

    The present degree work is devoted to the problem of the specificity of American English and its differences from British English.
    Generally, it is agreed that American and British English are both variants of World English. But the problem of characterizing and analyzing the system of the differences between them hasn’t been solved yet, as well as the question about relationship and hierarchy between these two varieties of English.
    Therefore this degree work is to contribute to solving the problems concerning the specificity of American English and its main differences from British English.
    The research has been conducted in 2005
    The aim of this work is to review the principal difference between British English and American English. The following hypothesis has been offered: American English has some peculiarities that distinguish it from British English.
    The following tasks have been solved in the present work:
    1. The history of exploring American English has been briefly reviewed.
    2. The modern status of American English has been described.
    3. Relationship between British and American English has been reviewed in the light of the intersystem approach.
    4. Phonetic, grammatical, lexical, orthographic differences between modern British and American English have been described.
    5. The practical research of the main differences between modern British and American English has been conducted.
    According to the scientific works we have been reviewed, American English and British English have many differences, but they are not systematic and so one cannot consider AE a separate language. At the same time the differences between AE and BE cannot allow one consider AE a dialect of BE.
    There are many differences in detail between British and American English, and occasionally they crowd together enough to make some difficulty. In our degree work we have described the main differences between AE and BE in their phonetics, orthography, grammar and vocabulary. Let us briefly mention them.
    There are some phonetic features that distinguish British and American English. The most significant differences in British and American phonetics is distribution of vowels. Stressed vowels are often lengthened more in American English than in British, so that British people thinks Americans “drawl” and Americans think British speech is “clipped”. Vowels are often nasalized in American English, and they are not in most British pronunciations, so this makes the two accents sound very different The articulation of the phoneme [r] is one of the most characteristic features of American English pronunciation. The American [r] is more sonorous than [r] in British English.
    Grammatical structures of British English and American English have much in common. The grammatical differences between the two varieties are revealed in use of: articles; plural/single forms of nouns and verbs; prepositions and adverb particles; irregular verbs forms; have and do; modal verbs; grammar tenses; subjunctive; some adverbs and adjectives. There many small differences in the use of prepositions and adverb particles in British English and American English. But in the whole British and American English have the same grammatical structure, and the existent grammatical differences are insignificant.
    As far as orthography is concerned, the American orthography is simpler than the British one. For example they omit the letter u in words like colour, harbour.
    Probably the major difference between British and American English is in the choice of vocabulary. We have reviewed some major lexical differences between American and British English.
    Sometimes different words are used for the same idea, for example American apartment and British flat; or the same word has different meanings in the two varieties, for example mad means angry in American English and it means crazy in British English/
    Lexical differences of American English highly extensive on the strength of multiple borrowing from Spanish and Indian languages, what was not in British English. They are: canoe, moccasin, squaw, tomahawk, wigwam, etc. and translation loans: pipe of peace, pale-face.
    The main lexical differences between British English and American English are caused by the lack of equivalent lexical units in one of them, divergences in the semantic structures of polysemantic words and peculiarities of usage of some words on different territories. One if the most distinguishing features of the colloquial style is using informal words. There are a lot of slang words in modern American English, which are not common in more conservative British English. It should be noted that non-standard colloquial words are unstable.
    We have also reviewed words connected with educational systems of Great Britain and the USA. Some differences have been found.
    For example:
    BE AE
    1. primary school 1. elementary school
    2. secondary school 2. high school
    3. further education 3. higher education
    In the practical research we have explored the main differences between American and British English. We found 306 examples of such differences and divided them into three groups. The first one includes lexical differences, the second – orthographical differences, and the third one – grammatical differences (namely specificity of using propositions).
    The first group turned out to be the largest group among the three. It includes 24 sub-groups, such as people, jobs, clothes, house, transportation, and others. Let us give some examples:
    АЕ ВЕ Перевод
    Buck Dollar Доллар
    Zipper Zip fastener Застежка молния
    Pants Trousers Брюки
    Classmate Class fellow Студент
    Buddy Mate Приятель
    drugstore chemistry Аптека

    The second and the third groups include much less number of examples.
    The orthographical differences are as follows:
    Favor favour
    Humor humour
    Labor labour
    traveled traveled
    Theater theatre

    The differences in the use of prepositions are the following:
    Wait on table wait at table
    Home at home
    on the street in the street
    Around about
    aside from apart from
    Out out off
    To fill out to fill in
    Get by get off

    So we can conclude that the most significant difference between American and British English is in their vocabulary.
    As a consequence a conclusion is made that British English and American English are two varieties of the modern World English. Their phonetic systems, grammar structures, word-stock and orthography are essentially the same, although there are some insignificant differences. The most significant difference between American and British English is in their vocabulary. These two varieties of English are constantly communicating and exchanging their peculiarities.

  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 66,915

    Re: Is it right?

    1. The history of exploring American English has been briefly reviewed.
    2. The modern status of American English has been described.
    Why the present perfect? I'd use the present tense here.
    we have been reviewed- active
    cannot allow one consider- to consider
    canoe, moccasin, squaw, tomahawk, wigwam,- BTW, these have all crossed, like many more, into BrE
    which are not common in more conservative British English- I have to disagree with this assessment of the state of British English. Firstly, there is a huge amount of slang in BrE and, secondly, the pace of change in language is in fact in many ways faster today in BrE, and many Americans have become the conservatives of today. The second point may be debatable in terms of degree, but there is no question that BrE is in great change, but the point about slang is just plain wrong, I'm afraid.

    As a further point, you might want to look at some of the small grammatical differences, like relative pronoun usage, which don't really impede comprehension but are common and add to the tapestry of difference.

  3. #3

    Re: Is it right?

    Yes, there is a lot more slang in 'British' English than in American.

    BrE uses both High School and Secondary School, and both Further and Higher Education. I've never heard anyone in the UK use the phrase 'class fellow', and a drugstore is a Chemist's - Chemistry is the science.
    Mad also means angry in BrE.
    US and BrE have some differences in past forms of verbs - learnt/learned got/gotten etc.
    One of the most obvious differences in US English to a British ear is the ommission of and in numbers, as we say one hundred and fifty, two thousand and twenty etc.

    If you are going to include pronunciation, it may be a good idea to mention the enormous difference in regional accents in the UK compared to the US. People from the Black Country (Wolverhampton, East Birmingham) the North East, Scotland, and some other areas have accents which fellow Britons find it hard to understand.

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