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Offline annie123

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?disappearing consonants in English
« on: 21/07/2010 19:11:14 »
HI
I am English, living overseas. I listen to a lot of BBC podcasts and am sad to hear that consonants seem to be disappearing from English words. Even some people who are educated - and yes, even people on the naked scientist programmes - drop consonants from their speech in increasing numbers. A lo' o' people can' seem to say 't's any more. F is disappearing at the end of words like of. Th is turning into 'v' - muvver etc. 'G' is goin'.Even the word 'like' which gets into some sentences every other word is losing the 'k'. It's li' I wan' lo's o' thin's ou' there li'e, bu' jus' can' ge' a job righ' now.
Any theories about this? Do people living in England notice this? Does anyone care?


 

Offline Geezer

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?disappearing consonants in English
« Reply #1 on: 21/07/2010 23:26:23 »
I think you're right. The English have been slaughtering English pronunciation for years. It's not just the dropped consonants, it's the extra ones they shove in that don't belong there - as in

"Is 'e in the drawring room?"

They should all be made to take electrocution classes.
 

Offline imatfaal

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?disappearing consonants in English
« Reply #2 on: 22/07/2010 11:26:15 »
English has been changing for centuries and will continue to change. the great vowel shift took three hundred years to migrate across the country - now we have saturation media coverage and trends spread in a matter of days.  I grew up in east london so many of the changes you mention I have grown up with.  As a child the only regional accents on the tv and radio were in gritty dramas, everything else was RP.  This has now changed, and although I also hate some of the current pronunciations, I think it's better than the strait-jacket we used to have.

My pet bugbears are loss of differentiation of meaning; as an example, I have been told that disinterested and uninterested now mean the same thing. Others worry about different trends in language.  There was a middle-class panic a few years ago when children started to use the Australasian false interrogative at the end of every sentence (?). But then neighbours lost its popularity, the kids in high school musical had different linguistic quirks, and the patois moved on.     

L'Académie française has been trying to hold back the tide for a couple of hundred years - without great success.  Better to roll with it and move on - it's a living language.

Matthew

Latin is a language
as dead as a dead can be
it killed the ancient romans
and now it's killing me
« Last Edit: 22/07/2010 11:27:59 by imatfaal »
 

Offline BenV

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?disappearing consonants in English
« Reply #3 on: 22/07/2010 12:50:21 »
When I present the show I become very aware of the way I speak.  I know I drop Ts and Hs occasionally, and do try not to, but it's partially my accent - I was brought up in the west midlands, near Wolverhampton.
 

Offline Geezer

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?disappearing consonants in English
« Reply #4 on: 22/07/2010 16:01:52 »
English has been changing for centuries and will continue to change. the great vowel shift took three hundred years to migrate across the country - now we have saturation media coverage and trends spread in a matter of days.  I grew up in east london so many of the changes you mention I have grown up with.  As a child the only regional accents on the tv and radio were in gritty dramas, everything else was RP.  This has now changed, and although I also hate some of the current pronunciations, I think it's better than the strait-jacket we used to have.

My pet bugbears are loss of differentiation of meaning; as an example, I have been told that disinterested and uninterested now mean the same thing. Others worry about different trends in language.  There was a middle-class panic a few years ago when children started to use the Australasian false interrogative at the end of every sentence (?). But then neighbours lost its popularity, the kids in high school musical had different linguistic quirks, and the patois moved on.     

L'Académie française has been trying to hold back the tide for a couple of hundred years - without great success.  Better to roll with it and move on - it's a living language.

Matthew

Latin is a language
as dead as a dead can be
it killed the ancient romans
and now it's killing me

At one point I theorized that it was only possible to get a job as an announcer at the Beeb if you had a speech impediment  ;D
 

Offline Make it Lady

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?disappearing consonants in English
« Reply #5 on: 22/07/2010 18:46:49 »
(Murray writing this):

P, t, k, b, d and g (what are called the plosive consonants), especially at the end of words, are probably the consonants that take longest to say. This is less of a problem when the next word starts with a vowel or a non-plosive (consider "can't eat" - you usually pronounce it something like "can' teat"), but if the next word does start with a plosive, it takes more time to say ("can't dance", "can't kick" for instance). It probably started with them being removed at the end of words where the next word begins with a plosive (which is natural for me), and then for some people (not me) migrated to the end of words in general. As for "of", I'm not too sure - it's probably again time-saving (ie, laziness) - fricative consonants also take a reasonable amount of time to say (f, h, s, th), but I don't have a theory for why it's only really happened with "of" and words beginning with "h".

Interestingly enough, when you say "lo' of", for example, as I said, it takes the same amount of time as saying "lot of", pretty much. The reason for that is you're actually putting an extra consonant in without realising - one that is quite familiar to English-speakers, but they've never actually thought about it. The consonant is called the glottal stop, and is the same thing as the pause in "uh-oh", or in examples like "lo' of", "bo'le" (instead of "bottle"), etc. So, in fact, this is completely pointless, as you're taking a consonant and replacing it with a different one equally hard to say.
 

Offline Geezer

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?disappearing consonants in English
« Reply #6 on: 23/07/2010 05:28:49 »
(Murray writing this):

P, t, k, b, d and g (what are called the plosive consonants), especially at the end of words, are probably the consonants that take longest to say. This is less of a problem when the next word starts with a vowel or a non-plosive (consider "can't eat" - you usually pronounce it something like "can' teat"), but if the next word does start with a plosive, it takes more time to say ("can't dance", "can't kick" for instance). It probably started with them being removed at the end of words where the next word begins with a plosive (which is natural for me), and then for some people (not me) migrated to the end of words in general. As for "of", I'm not too sure - it's probably again time-saving (ie, laziness) - fricative consonants also take a reasonable amount of time to say (f, h, s, th), but I don't have a theory for why it's only really happened with "of" and words beginning with "h".

Interestingly enough, when you say "lo' of", for example, as I said, it takes the same amount of time as saying "lot of", pretty much. The reason for that is you're actually putting an extra consonant in without realising - one that is quite familiar to English-speakers, but they've never actually thought about it. The consonant is called the glottal stop, and is the same thing as the pause in "uh-oh", or in examples like "lo' of", "bo'le" (instead of "bottle"), etc. So, in fact, this is completely pointless, as you're taking a consonant and replacing it with a different one equally hard to say.

Right! Well, that pretty much puts the kibosh on this thread  ;D
 

Offline Make it Lady

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?disappearing consonants in English
« Reply #7 on: 23/07/2010 18:05:57 »
Is my son too intelligent for you then Geezer. He runs rings around me and he is only 15!

Anyway, I hate it when people substitute the letter T for D as in Phodo instead of Photo.
 

Offline annie123

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?disappearing consonants in English
« Reply #8 on: 31/07/2010 04:03:12 »
I find that people from places like India, where English pronunciation survives from raj days, enunciate much better than UK residents in many cases. The Indian accent is there of course, but so are the ps, q, and ts.And strangely one Indian I talked to who emigrated to UK told me that people didn't understand him because he used too many words of more than one syllable.
 

Offline tommya300

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?disappearing consonants in English
« Reply #9 on: 01/08/2010 00:51:16 »
Aye wounder ua die lick n' Newe-monica mel'nz n' f'neticz, ge'en rei'ea da bowels n'da facial incontinence 'el gae' d'ngz bla'ee err'n.
Besides the rubish I jist wrote. It is hard enough to communicate with a set standard family language vocabulary.
Contracts and Lawyer Language, wherever that was derived from, was made to confuse the rest, so they, the Lawyers, can financially excel as they kneaded, the victim/client.
« Last Edit: 01/08/2010 01:05:26 by tommya300 »
 

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