Apart from Standard English, which is considered to incorporate the major rules of the language, there exist many dialogues based on social class differentiation and geographical area in which speakers live. The dialogue I would like to describe is Cockney English. It is spread in London, Great Britain, and is considered to be spoken by people belonging to a low social status. Cockney English has a number of peculiarities. The first one is the omission of sound [h] when there is a letter ‘h’ at the beginning of the word: ‘house’ is pronounced [‘aus], ‘horse’ sounds like [‘o:s]. The next prominent feature of Cockney is the replacement of vowel [æ] by [a].
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The following example shows two Cockney elements in a row: the word ‘hand’ is pronounced not [‘ænd] but [‘and]. Another peculiarity is using sound [a] instead of [Ə] (also known as ‘schwa’): users of Cockney pronounce ‘doctor’ as [‘dokta] and ‘actor’ as [‘akta]. Next, in final position, sound ‘l’ is pronounced like ‘w’: the word ‘bell’ sounds like [‘bew] in Cockney. Another feature is the omission of glottal [t]: ‘bottle’ is pronounced as [‘bo-l].
The next feature is the replacement of interdental sound [ð] with [v] and sound [θ] with [f]: ‘gather’ is pronounced as [‘gava], ‘thick’ sounds like [fik]. Also, when it comes to vowels, the general rule is that these sounds come from around the sides of the mouth: [au] is pronounced as [a:] (‘cow’ – [‘ka:]), [o:] turns into [ou] (‘walk’ – [‘wouk]). What concerns grammar, Cockney English speakers say ‘me’ instead of ‘my,’ use double negations, and do not conform to the rules of agreement of the subject and predicate (‘I weren’t there yesterday’; ‘You is my friend’).
Finally, Cockney English has a special “vocabulary” in the form of slang. For instance, “apples and pears” stands for “stairs.” Here is a link to the examples of Cockney English dialect: Learn the Cockney English with Jason Statham.
This dialect relates to our class because it describes the differences in language use and also demonstrates social divergences between people. At our class, we studied the basics of linguistics, and this dialect is a perfect illustration of various linguistic phenomenon. In my examples, I showed the phonetic and grammatical peculiarities of Cockney English. The dialect is rich in such peculiarities, which makes it a great model to discuss.
During the sessions, we talked about how societal conditions in which people live can impact their language. Cockney is the dialect that appeared due to social disparity. It originated in poor regions of London, and its deviations from Standard English developed due to the insufficient level of education of people. There is a large number of various dialects of English all over the world. However, Cockney is probably the most fascinating in terms of the number of peculiar features. There are dialects that have a few original features but still can be understood by people who do not normally speak them. Understanding Cockney without prior knowledge is rather difficult.