390C (370) The Sound of Englishes (4 units)

Fall 2012


TuTh 1-2:15 - Tobin 204


Joe Pater []


There are many different varieties of English, or "Englishes", spoken in the United States (e.g. African American Vernacular English, Eastern Massachusetts English, Southern English), and around the world (e.g. Singapore English, Scottish English). It is obvious to everyone that these varieties of English sound different from one another, but not everyone can put into words what these differences are. In this course, you will learn about the sound systems of a wide range of Englishes, and you will learn how to describe them in terms of the vocabulary of phonology, the sub-discipline of linguistics that deals with sound systems. You will learn about how these varieties differ in their vowels and consonants, in their syllable shapes, in how they accent words, and in the intonation patterns on sentences. We will talk about how these differences play a role in language learning and language use, and will discuss the history and socio-cultural aspects of variation between Englishes.