The accent of the city of the Liverpool and its immediate

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					                                    The accent and dialect of Liverpool



Ⅰ Introduction
   It   was     two           years      ago           when       I    first        heard          Liverpudlian
a c c e n t . I m e t a g i r l f r o m L i v e r p o o l a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y. S h e
had an especially strong Scouse accent. When I talked with
her     for    the           first     time,           I     was        baffled           and       shocked.           I
couldn’t       understand               what           she       was     saying.          I    was       surprised
that     “Is        it        English!?”               Actually               British           English          was
unfamiliar to me, much less scouse accent. Since she was
an exchange student, we didn’t speak in English so much. I
hadn’t        had        an    opportunity                  to        hear        scouse       accent          for     a
while.
   But I faced it again for the second time. When I went to
Liverpool            last           summer,            naturally                  people        I       met     were
speaking       scouse               accent.        I    had       difficulty          in       understanding
their     English.              I     found            it    very        differs              from       Standard
English. I first noticed that they didn’t pronounce / /, this
sound     alters         /    /(it’s     a    feature             of    northern              English.)         First
day     when        she        asked         me,       “Have           you         been       to    a    pub/pub/
yet?” I didn’t know she was saying about that pub/p b/. I
asked her “What is a /pub/ ?”
   Next       summer           I’m      going          to    study           in    Liverpool             again.      In
order     to    get           used     to     scouse             accent            easily       and       have       no
problem with it, I’d like to research about “ the accent and
dialect of Liverpool”.


Ⅱ Scouse accent
   The        accent           of      the         city          of     the        Liverpool              and        its
immediate surroundings (now the county of Merseyside) is
called Scouse. This accent is rather clearly different from
that one of the neighboring areas. Scouse is an interesting
dialect. Generally while the accent is northern rather than
southern       in        character,           it       differs         in     number           of       ways    from
other northern urban varieties, including those of the rest
of Lancashire, the country where Liverpool is located. But
sometimes           it    also       shows         features of                a     southern            accent.       It
                                         The accent and dialect of Liverpool



is    believed               to        have     developed         in     the     nineteenth                  c e n t u r y,
when a large number of Irish immigrants, as well as a fair
number             of        We l s h ,         settled      in     this        corner           of        England.
Therefore               some            of    the    differences             show     the        influence             of
these settlers, especially these from southern Ireland.
     The Liverpool accent is northern in that:
A . t y p i c a l l y, t h e v o w e l / / d o e s n o t o c c u r i n t h e a c c e n t o f
the north and midlands of England. So they pronounce / /
instead            of    /        /.    The       vowel/      /    is        relatively             n e w,     in     the
history            of         English,               and     northern            accents               have          not
participated                 this        development.             The        result       is    that         pairs      of
words         such           as        “put”      :”putt”,        “could”        :    “cud”            which          are
distinguished                      in        We l s h ,    Scottish,           Irish,          and         southern
English            accents               are      not     distinguished              in        the     north         and
Midlands, where words like “blood” and “good”, “mud” and
“hood” are perfect rhymes
(1).    There            is       no     distinction          between           pairs          of     words         like
"put" and" putt",
Both being /p t/ there is no/ / vowel.
B. Normally / / is pronounced / / in most northern areas.
(1)     /ae/        occurs              in     words       like    "hot"        "dance"              "daft"         etc,
which in RP have/a /
C. Many northern (especially older) speakers while they do
not have / /, do have / / rather than / / in words such as
hook,        book,            look,          took,        cook.   Therefore           they           distinguish
pairs       such         as       “book”            and    “buck”,           which    in       the      south         are
distinguished as /b k/ and /b k/ as /bu k/ and /b k/.
( 1 ) Wo r d s l i k e "b o o k " a n d " c o o k " h a v e t h e v o w e l / u /
D.     Unlike           in        the        northern       urban        accents          (but        in     common
with        Newcastle)                  the     final      vowel        of    words       like        “city”         and
“seedy” is /i /
E.     In    the        north of              England        (as RP)          these       words            have      /I/:
city /sItI/, on the other hand south of England these words
have        /i/:    city          /sIti/.        This      time    Liverpool              is    in     case         more
southern than northern.
                                    The accent and dialect of Liverpool




F.     There         is   no        difference         in       Liverpool          accent         between
pairs of words like “fair”(RP/f                                 /) and “fir”(RP/f                 /). The
most typical pronunciation of the vowel is the vowel is /
/,   but      other       forms,         including          /         /    are    also     heard.    E,g.
“pair” /p            / “per” /p             r/


G. (1), /p.t.k/ are heavily aspired and even affricated (as
cockney accent).
Thus: can’t /kxant/, straight /streits/, back /bakx/
In   final         position,          /p,t,k/        may    pronounced             as    fricative       /    ,
s,x/.
(2),         Related           to     this       phenomenon,                   glottal      stops        are
relatively rare in Liverpool accent.
(3), Between vowels, when the first of is short, /t/ may be
pronounced as /r/. This feature is found in other parts of
northern England.


H.     /r/    is     usually          tap    /   /    as    well          as   Scottish      and    Irish
English.           (tree,       real,       cigarettes).          Even           though     the    tap       is
t r a d i t i o n a l l y r e g a r d e d a s a n R P p o s s i b i l i t y. ( a n d i n d e e d i s
one,       though         by    no      means         the   most           usual    kind     of    /r/       in
Liverpool) middle–class speakers tend to avoid it.


I. /h/ is usually not pronounced, but sometimes do.


J. /ei/ and /ou/ are narrow diphthongs.


K . I n i t i a l l y, / / m a y b e / d / , ( t h e r e , t h a t ) . K n o w e l s ( 1 9 7 4 )
found this to be nearly limited to working class Catholics.


L. (a) The suffix –ing is /in/.


Wo r d s      like    “sing”,          “thing”        tend       to       have    final/     /    just       as
everywhere northwest.
                                The accent and dialect of Liverpool




M.    Most       noticeable              feature is           that    Scousers         speech        sound
nasalized because of velarization.


Ⅲ Scouse dialect
 Scouse                             English
 Beer can head                      Town       south          of   the     River     Mersey         opposite
                                    Liverpool and linked by a tunnel
 Blind scouse                       Quasi-vegetarian stew
 Kinnell                            Expression of surprise
 Scram                              Food
 Knee-trembler                      Ve r t i c a l l y e x p e r i e n c e d b r i e f l i a i s o n
 Skid marks                         Not as valuable as Deutsche Marks
 We a r t h e f o x h a t           Enquiry as to geographical location


Ⅳ Examples of Scouse in ”The full monty “
     Here,     I’d       like       to     write         about       some       features        I    found
through        real       spoken           scouse         accent.          Have       you      seen     the
movie       called       “the       full       monty”?         In    that      movie,       Horse,      one
of    the    characters             who        is    a    black       and      old    g u y.   He      is   a
s c o u s e r. I ’ d l i k e t o d e s c r i b e h i s s c o u s e a c c e n t . Yo u c a n s e e
some above features of scouse accent.


<Audition scene>
Horse: There’s the bump the stomp the bus stop me break
            dancing        days          are    probably            over    but      there’s        always
            the funky chicken.
            It’s     been       a    while          mind,      I’ve      got    a    this   dodgy       hip
            yo u k n o w.
<Horse advises other members>
H o r s e : We l l , i t ’s t h e a r s e n a l o ff - s i d e t r a p i s n ’t i t ?
            The arsenal off-side trap.
            Lomper here is Tony A dams right?
            Any bugger looks like scoli.
            We     all    step        forward            in    a    line    and      wave      our     arms
                             The accent and dialect of Liverpool



           a r o u n d l i k e a f a i r y.
<Horse rings his friend>
Horse: How can I read the instructions?
           There wasn’t any…
           No well, ma ybe there’s a part missing.
           Ye a h g o t t h a t …
           If that’s wha t you call it.
           Ye a h , w e l l , i f i t ’s a l l t h e r e .
           How come it’s not working?
           What do you mean in that sense?
           It’s not working in the sense that it’s not working.
           No, I can’t speak up.
           Nothing’s happening, you know what I’m s aying?
           Nothing’s getting bigger.
           We l l , i t ’s e m e rg e n c y i s t h i s … .


Ⅴ Conclusion
   Scouse accent is interesting. Strictly it’s impossible to
divide into northern midland, or southern English because
Scouse       accent        is     effected        by     various        districts.      Some
features       hold      true      in    northern            English,    other    features
apply to southern English and so on. Though quite close to
Wa l e s   you    can’t     see    so    much      influence       from    Wa l e s .   Also,
Scouse       accent       sounds        peculiar.       They      have     own    peculiar
rhythm of intonation.

				
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