British slang and its classification — страница 11

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expressions--fresh, satirical, shocking--for established concepts, often very respectable ones. Sound is sometimes used as a basis for this type of slang, as, for example, in various phonetic distortions (e.g., pig Latin terms). It is also used in rhyming slang, which employs a fortunate combination of both sound and imagery. Thus, gloves are "turtledoves" (the gloved hands suggesting a pair of billing doves), a girl is a "twist and twirl" (the movement suggesting a girl walking), and an insulting imitation of flatus, produced by blowing air between the tip of the protruded tongue and the upper lip, is the "raspberry," cut back from "raspberry tart." Most slang, however, depends upon incongruity of imagery, conveyed by the lively

connotations of a novel term applied to an established concept. Slang is not all of equal quality, a considerable body of it reflecting a simple need to find new terms for common ones, such as the hands, feet, head, and other parts of the body. Food, drink, and sex also involve extensive slang vocabulary. Strained or synthetically invented slang lacks verve, as can be seen in the desperate efforts of some sportswriters to avoid mentioning the word baseball--e.g., a batter does not hit a baseball but rather "swats the horsehide," "plasters the pill," "hefts the old apple over the fence," and so on.0 If we try to characterize rhyming slang in particular, we can find such phonetic features: 1.Monophthongization This affects the lexical set mouth vowel.

Wells believes that it is widely agreed that the "mouth" vowel is a "touchstone for distinguishing between "true Cockney" and popular London" and other more standard accents. Cockney usage would include monophthongization of the word. Example: mouth = mauf rather than mouth 2. Glottal stop Wells describes the glottal stop as also particularly characteristic of Cockney and can be manifested in different ways such as "t" glottalling in final position. A 1970s study of schoolchildren living in the East End found /p,t,k/ "almost invariably glottalized" in final position. Examples: cat = up = sock = It can also manifest itself as a bare as the realization of word internal intervocalic /t/ Examples: Waterloo = Waerloo City = Ciy A drink

of water = A drin' a wa'er A little bit of bread with a bit of butter on it = A li'le bi' of breab wiv a bi' of bu'er on i'. As would be expected, a Cockney speaker uses fewer glottal stops for t or d than a "London" speaker. However, there are some words where the omission of t has become very accepted. Examples: Gatwick = Gawick Scotland = Sco'land statement = Sta'emen network = Ne work 3. Dropped h at beginning of words (Voiceless glottal fricative) In the working-class ("common") accents throughout England,h dropping at the beginning of certain words is heard often, but it`s certainly heard more in Cockney, and in accents closer to Cockney. The usage is strongly stigmatized by teachers and many other standard speakers. Examples: house = `ouse hammer =

`ammer 4. TH fronting Another very well known characteristic of Cockney is th fronting which involves the replacement of the dental fricatives, and by labiodentals [f] and [v] respectively. Examples: thin = fin brother = bruvver three = free bath = barf 5. Vowel lowering Examples: dinner = dinna marrow= marra 6. Prosody The voice quality of Cockney has been described as typically involving "chest tone" rather than "head tone" and being equated with "rough and harsh" sounds versus the velvety smoothness of the Kensington or Mayfair accents spoken by those in other more upscale areas of London. 7. Rhyme Cockney English is also characterized by its own special vocabulary and usage in the form of "cockney rhyming slang". The way it works is

that you take a pair of associated words where the second word rhymes with the word you intend to say, then use the first word of the associated pair to indicate the word you originally intended to say. Some rhymes have been in use for years and are very well recognized, if not used, among speakers of other accents. Examples: "apples and pears" -stairs "plates of meat" -feet There are others, however, that become established with the changing culture. Example: "John Cleese" - cheese "John Major" - pager 2.4 Morphological characteristics of slang Slang comes to be a very numerous part of the English language. It is considered to be one of the main representatives of the nation itself. The birth of new words results from the order of the