АҒЫЛШЫН-АМЕРИКАН СӨЗ МӘНЕРІНІҢ ЕРЕКШЕЛІКТЕРІ “The Peculiarities of American English Pronunciation and Vocabulary”




“The Peculiarities of American English Pronunciation and Vocabulary”


2010 year


  1. Introduction…………………………………………………2
  2. The Role of English languages……………………… ….4
  3. R.P. Received Pronunciation……………………………..5
  4. American English Pronunciation…………………………7
  •  The Differences between. American English and

British English Pronunciation.

  1. The System of General American Vowels………………………8
  2. The System of American English Consonants…….……..13
  3. 3. American English Vocabulary………………………………………16


  1. Conclusion………………………………………………….20
  2. Bibliography………………………………………………..21


The Theme of our scientific research is American English. Nowadays with the development of political, cultural and economic relations between people, everybody tries to lean one foreign language.  The topicality of this theme is seen when we speak about the speed of the English languages in the world. Since English began to spread around the world in the great age of exploration five hundred years ago, all its varieties have taken on an independent history, some of them mush influenced by local circumstances, others responding to changes in the inexorable trends in languages change that affect every community from one generation to the next.

The aim of this work is to investigate the development of English languages in America, the differences it had suffered and the pronunciation peculiarities of American English (vowels and consonants), and to prove fact that American language is not a separate language but only the variant of the English language.

The following research objectives were put in order to achieve this aim:

  1. American English pronunciation;
  2. Analysis of consonant and vowel system.

The Object of our scientific research is analysis and cooperation of the American pronunciation with the British Received Pronunciation (B. R. P.)

          The Subject of our scientific research is the peculiarities of consonant and vowel system.

English is the International language and is understood almost everywhere.

But every country has its own peculiarities which differ from Standard English  Pronunciation. We learn English but we are not native speakers and do not live in England so we need to understand everyone who communicates on this language so that to find new know, English is very interesting language. People who live in Kazakhstan have never seen such sounds as in English that is why if we want to progress is it learning we should know vowels, consonants, diphthongs and changes connected with them.

The theoretical value of this work may be a good source for investigation of the American English and for those, who are interested in the spread of the English language around the world.

The practical value or the results of this work can be used in the teaching lingua cultural studies. They can help at the seminars on linguistic while studying English language the world.

This work consists of 4 parts. Introduction gives conception of the theme; it contains aim of this work, its research, objectives, object, and methods of investigation. After it goes a pronunciation peculiarity of the American English. The practical (methodological) part concludes the whole work…

Then, of course  goes conclusion.


  1. The Role of English languages

The rise of English is a story of wonderful success. When Julius Caesar landed in British nearly 2000year ago, English didn’t exist. 500 years later, in the 5th century English was already spoken by people who inhabited Great Britain but they were not many, and their language was not the language that we know today. Nearly 1000 year later, at the end of the 10th century when William Shakespeare created his works, English was the native language of as about 6 million Englishmen.

Nowadays, 400 Years later, 750 million people all over the world use English and half of those speak it as a mother tongue. Of all 2700 world languages English is one of the richest; at the end of the 20th century English is more widely spoken and written, than any other language has ever been. It has become the Language of the planet, the 1st truly global language. Three quarter of the world mail and telexes and telegram’s are in English. More than half of the world’s scientific periodicals and 80% of the information in the world’s computers are also on English. English is the main languages of business. It’s the Language of sports: the official language of the Olympics. The English language surrounds us like as sea, and like the waters of deep sea it is full of mysteries. English has been always constantly changing.

Some words die, some change their meanings and all the time new worlds appear in the language.






  1. P. Received Pronunciation

The pronunciation of literary English is termed Received Pronunciation (RP). Since all speakers of British English consider this type of pronunciation to be “correct” and “good”.

Received Pronunciation has been accepted everywhere for the teaching of English to the foreigners. British Received Pronunciation is  the recognized and accept literary from the pronunciation. It is upheld by public opinion. It has been described in a great number of books by English Phoneticians. There are books containing practical exercises, tape recorded texts and gramophone records of text based on this type of pronunciation. Also a number of excellent pronouncing dictionaries have been published. Although one of the great advantages of British Received Pronunciation is its uniformity, this does not mean that B. R. P is absolutely rigid and allows of no variation.









The principal types of British Pronunciation and their interrelations may be graphically represented in the following way (see table№1)


                  The English Language     


In the British Isles In the USA IN Canada In Australia In New Zealand In South Africa



















  1. American English Pronunciation

In the United States of America the region types of the American variant of the English language are 1) The Eastern type

2) The Southern type

3) The General American type (Northern,

Midwestern, Western).

There are certain varieties of educated America speech. In the USA 3 main types of cultivated are recognized: the Eastern type, the Southern type and Western or General American. In the United States of America the most wide-spread type is General American. Like R.P. in Great Britain; G.A. in America is the social standard: it’s regionally neutral, it’s used by radio and TV, in scientific and business discourse, and it is spoken by educated Americans.

The third type of Educated American speech is General American also known as Northern America or Western American spoken in the central Atlantic States: New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Others General American.

General American Pronunciation is known to be the pronunciation standard of the United States of America. There are some reasins for it. General America is the form of speech used by the radio and television it’s mostly used in scientific, cultural and business intercourse. Also in two important business centers are New York and State Louis — General American is the prevailing form of speech and pronunciation, though New York is situated within the territory where eastern American is spoken and State Louis is within the region of Southern American?







  III. The Differences between. American English and  British English 


  1.    The System of General American Vowels

There are relatively few differences in the system of vowel phonemes in GA and RP. The most marked differences between GA and RP are in the articulation and distribution of vowel phonemes. GA vowels are not exhibit consistent relationships between vowel length and quality are not divided into historically short and historically long monophtongs.

  1. The front vowels occupy a relatively identical position in GA and RP. However, considered to be the phonetic (articulatory) peculiarities in the production of these vowels.
  2. The phoneme [i]. [i] is a high front tense vowel. The use of a pure vowel in a final position is more characteristic of RP. It is often noticeably diphthongized, especially in final positions in GA and RP, as in see, least noticeable is before voiceless stops, as in “seat”.
  3. The phoneme is a highfront lax vowel in GA and RP. GA is a little more open than the RP. In is often produced as an obscured vowel with the togue retracted toward the central position when [r] , [l] or bilabial consonants are nearby, as in “will”, “fill”, “building”, “river”, “miracle”.
  4. The phoneme in GA is a front mid-open lax

monophthong, lower than it is counterpart RP, as in “best”, which is [best]  in RP and [best] in GA.

  1. The phoneme is fronter and longer than its counterpart RP, and its distribution is different from that RP. In GA it is used in most words in which the letter a is followed by a consonant letter other than

Ex.: ask-


  1. The total number of mixed, or central vowels in GA and RP is different. In RP there are 2 central vowels and. In GA- vowels also differ markedly in articulation and distribution.
  2. The phoneme like the RP vowel, the AE is a mixed tense vowel. In differs from the RP [ ] by its retro flexion (the tip of the tongue is curled back). The words “hurry”, “current”, “courage” are pronounced in GA as.
  3. The phoneme, as in “winter”, “doctor” is also a retroflex mixed, or central lax vowel in unstressed syllables. In GA it is vowel pronounced with — coloring. is a variant of the phoneme, as in “method” and occurs in the positions where there is no r in spelleng.
  4. The phoneme. In RP is defined as a bock advanced mid-open vowel of broad variation. In counterpart GA is a central mid-open vowel (of narrow variation). Acoustic phoneticians transcribe it a seven in stressed position, as in “cup” [kәp].
  5. The phoneme [a]. It contrast to RP [a:], which is a back vowel, the GA [a] is classified as a mixed, or central vowel. As to their height [a:] and [a] are both low or broad variation. The GA [a] is the most controversial of all the vowel phonemes in GA. GA [a] is used in the position in which places the RP speaker’s emplay [p], as in “not”, “crop”, “drop”. Moreover, GA [a] also occurs in words, such as “father”, “palm”, “balm”, in which places in RP [a:] is used. The differences between [a] and [a:] are so minimal that they are transcribed identically in many American phonetic systems. In contrast to RP [a:], [a] in GA has quite a different distribution.
  6. The inventory of back vowels in RP is constituted by 6 vowel phonemes: ,ahere as in GA- by -. There are also differences in the pronunciation of the back vowels and their distribution.
  7. The phoneme . The GA differs from its counterpart RP in quality and lip rounding. In the production of the GA the lips are considerably less rounded than in articulating.
  8. The phoneme. The GA is a more advanced variety of the RP and is often like counterpart RP.
  9. Diphthongs in GA constitute the most controversial problem in English phonology. The inventory of GA diphthongs varies from 3 to 12 vowel phonemes, where as in RP British phoneticians distinguish 8 . In GA we distinguish 5 diphthongs.
  • The diphthong [ei]. The GA [ei] differs from its counterpart RP [ei] only by its degree of diphthongization. The GA diphthongal variant is most likely to occur when the vowel is lengthened in word final position, as in “holiday” [ halide], “birthday” or before voiced consonants, as in “game” [geim], “grade” [greid].
  • The diphthong . The realization of the diphthongs in RP and GA is, practically, identical.
  • The diphthong . In GA is realized in 2 variants and the latter usually predominates. In RP the starting point of the diphthong, i.e. the nucleus, is usually the position if the tongue for the RP [a:].
  • The diphthong. In GA the nucleus of the diphthong is a back mid-open vowel, whereas in RP the starting point of the diphthong may have a tongue position similar to the RP. It is,therefore, transcribed by some British phoneticians as. In GA the glide of the diphthong is weakened and sometimes reducedto a monopgthongal in unstressed syllables, as in “radio” [‘reidio], and before voiceless consonants, as in “boat” [bot].
  • In GA the counterpart of the RP long monophthongs and the centering diphthongs are in which the2-en element is a full-fledge retroflexed [r].


























The following are some of the peculiarities of Southern American vowels and


British English American English        Words
/æ/ /ɑ/ annato, Bangladesh, Mafia, Nissan, Natasha, Pablo, pasta, Picasso,
/iː/ /ɛ/ breve, devolution, evolution, predecessor, penalize
/ɒ/ /oʊ/ Interpol, Lod, pogrom, polka, produce
/ɑː/ /æ/ banana, java, tiara,Pakistani


/ɛ/ /i/ Cecil, depot, zebra, zenith,crematorium


/æ/ /eɪ/ patriot, plait, satrap, satyr, compatriot


/z/ /s/ erase, Aussie, blouse, valise, parse


/ɒ/ /ʌ/ hovel, hover, because, from, was, what


/aɪ/ /i/ either, neither, Pleiades


/siː/ /ʃ/ cassia, Cassius, hessian


/juː/ /w/ iguana, jaguar, Nicaragua
/eɪ/ /ə/ template
/aʊ/ /u/ nous
/ɑː/ /ɔr/ quark
/ð/ /θ/ booth
/æ/ /ɒ/ twat










The following are some of the peculiarities of Southern American vowels.

B.R.P. G.A. words
[e] [i] Together, men, get
[ᴧ] [e] Such, just
[ i ] [ e] Hinder, spirit
[ᵆ] [ a:] Learn [la:n] sermon
[ᵋᵊ] [a:] Where [wa:]
[iᵊ] [ᵋᵊ] dear, fear
[a:] [ᵆ] calm,dance,bath,ask, half,pass
[ᵓ:] [ᵆ] haunt, sauce
[u] [ᴧ] took, look
[ᴐ] [a:] drop,crop,hot, rock,office,brother
[ei] [e] gave
[e] [ᵋᵊ] let
[ᵊ:] [ᵌ:r] turn, bird
[ᴐi] [ai] boil,join, [bail], [dzain]
[ou] [ᴐ] wrote [rot]
[u:] [ᵑu] curing [kju:ri  ]
[ᴐ] [ᴐᵑ] poring [p  ri  ]
[i] [ᵑ] clearing [cliri  ]











  1. The System of American English Consonants

The total number of AE consonants of the three major types, GA, EA, SA, in general coincides with the inventory of RP consonants. The differences mainly concern the pronunciation of the individual consonant phonemes and their occurrence, or distribution.

  • The phoneme [r]. The articulation of the [r] consonant is, perhaps one the most characteristic features of AE pronunciation. The narrowing for [r] in AE is formal between the tip of the tongue which is curled back (a retroflex articulation) and the lower part of the hard palate the AE [r] is more sonorous than it is counterpart cacuminal [r] in RP. In prevocalic position [r] is accomplished in AE by lip-rounding, as in “rain”. Like the RP [r], the AE [r] is used in word initial position before vowels, as in “red”. In this position, from the functional point of view, the AE [r] corresponds to the R [r], but differs from it in particularly and acoustic features. However, this difference disappears when the AE [r] is preceded by, as in “tram”. [r] then is articulated both in AE and RP almost identically, i.e. with an audible friction. Besides, the [r] of AE is pronounced in any position [red, farm, sister].
  • The phoneme [l]. One noticeable pattern in the use of the AE [I] phoneme is the predominance of the “dark” variety in all positions, as in “leave, tell”.
  • The phoneme [t] in AE is a highly variable phoneme. In AE it occurs, as in RP, in all positions. However, the [t] phoneme has variants in AE which do not occur in RP. They result from the assimilative voicing of the [t] sound in intervocalic position, as in “better”, or between a vowel and a sonorant, as in “little”.

It should be noted, however, that the distinction between [t] and [d] is not neutralized. Americans unfailingly distinguish the words in such pairs, as:




  • The phoneme [m]. [m] in AE is a voiceless fricative consonant formed by rounding the lips and raising the back of the tongue nearly to the soft palate (the velum). The friction is always clearly audible. The breathed consonant [m] corresponds to it is voiced counterpart [w] and is used in words spelt with “wh”, as in “what” [mat], “which”.
  • The phoneme [h]. Like in RP, [h] in AE has an independent phonetic value, as in “hat”[h t], “hall”[h  l]. However, except when stressed or located at the beginning of a sentence the AE pronouns and auxiliary verbs he,his,him,her,have.has and had normally lose [h].

E.g. He would have ‘hurt him if he had ‘had his gun with him.

[                                                                                                    ]

  • The phoneme [j]. Both in AE and in RP [j] has an independent phonetic value. It is noteworthy to consider the combination [j+u], or [ju].

The sequence [ju] is retained in AE and RP in word initial position, as in “unit”[‘junit]. [ju] occurs after the consonants [p], [b], [m], [f], [v], [k], [g], is in “beauty” [‘bjuti]. In other phonetic contexts, i.e. after [t], [d], [n], [s], [z], [j], in AE normally drops out, as in “student” [‘studәnt].

  • The phoneme . In AE is vocalized in final unstressed syllables ending with –ion, or – ia, as in excursin version in contrast to RP

Nasality or “American twang”.

Nasality is common characteristic of AE. It is defined as undue resonance on speech sounds other than [m], [n] and [  ]. Nasality is limited to vowels adjacent to [m], [n], [  ], where the velum lowers too soon and allows the preceding vowel to become nasal.
















In General American Pronunciation the vowel Ee [e] diphthongized before [p], [t], and [k]       e.g. Let [le’t]

There are 5 diphthongs: [ei], [ai], [oi], [au], [ou] in English. The Pronunciation of these diphthongs is similar on both languages.

e.g. take, small, home (nasalization)



The following are some of the peculiarities of Southern American consonant.



1. [I] Does not, exist
2. [t] Letter,ladder [t]-being shorter
3. “wh”-[hw] Where — ware, which — which
4. [j] Weekends
[nu:z] News
[tu:zdi] Tuesday
[su:t] Suit
[stu:pid] Stupid
[dru:ri  ] during



B.R.P.                   G.A.P.

cordial               [   ‘kᴐdiᴐl   ]             [  ‘kᴐvjel    ]

leisure               [    ‘leᴣᴐ    ]              [   ‘li:ᴣᴐv    ]

schedule           [  ‘ѕedju:l  ]              [  ‘skedjᴐl  ]





  1. American English Vocabulary

Most of the differences in lexis or vocabulary between British and American English are in connection with concepts originating from the 19th century to the mid 20th century, when new words were coined independently. Almost the entire vocabularies of the car/automobile and railway/railroad industries (see Rail terminology) are different between the UK and US, for example. Other sources of difference are slang or vulgar terms (where frequent new coinage occurs) and idiomatic phrases, including phrasal verbs. The differences most likely to create confusion are those where the same word or phrase is used for two different concepts. Regional variations, even within the US or the UK, can create the same problems.

It is not a straightforward matter to classify differences of vocabulary. David Crystal identifies some of the problems of classification on the facing page to his list of American English/British English lexical variation, and states «this should be enough to suggest caution when working through an apparently simple list of equivalents».

Overview of lexical differences

Note: A lexicon is not made up of different words, but different «units of meaning» (lexical units or lexical items e.g. ‘fly ball’ in baseball), including idioms and figures of speech. This makes it easier to compare the dialects.

Though the influence of cross-culture media has done much to familiarize BrE and AmE speakers with each other’s regional words and terms, many words are still recognized as part of a single form of English. Though the use of a British word would be acceptable in AmE (and vice versa), most listeners would recognize the word as coming from the other form of English, and treat it much the same as a word borrowed from any other language. For instance, a British speaker using the word chap or mate to refer to a friend would be heard in much the same way as an American using the Spanish word amigo.

Words and phrases which have their origins in BrE

Some speakers of AmE are aware of some BrE terms, although they might not generally use them, or may be confused as to whether someone intends the American or British meaning (such as for biscuit). They will be able to guess approximately what some others, such as “driving licence,” mean. However, use of many other British words such as naff (unstylish, though commonly used to mean «not very good»), risks rendering a sentence incomprehensible to most Americans.

Words and phrases which have their origins in AmE

Speakers of BrE are likely to understand most AmE terms, examples such as ‘sidewalk’, ‘gas (gasoline/petrol)’, ‘counterclockwise’, or ‘elevator (lift)’, without any problem. Certain terms which are heard less frequently, eg. ‘copacetic (satisfactory)’, are unlikely to be understood by most BrE speakers. The same is also true when AmE users might speak colloquially of suffering, having, or passing ‘gas’ (meaning flatulence) when BrE speakers would more likely use the word ‘wind’ in the same context, which in turn might not be readily understood by speakers of AmE.

Words and phrases with different meanings

Words such as bill (AmE «paper money», BrE and AmE «invoice») and biscuit (AmE: BrE’s «scone», BrE: AmE’s «cookie») are used regularly in both AmE and BrE, but mean different things in each form[citation needed]. As chronicled by Winston Churchill, the opposite meanings of the verb to table created a misunderstanding during a meeting of the Allied forces;[56] in BrE to table an item on an agenda means to open it up for discussion, whereas in AmE, it means to remove it from discussion.

The word «football» in BrE refers to Association football, also known as soccer. In AmE, «football» means American football (although «soccer», a contraction of «association (football)», the standard AmE term, is also of British origin, derived from the formalization of different codes of football in the 19th century, and was a fairly unremarkable usage (possibly marked for class) in BrE until relatively recently; it has latterly become falsely perceived as an intrusive Americanism).

Similarly, the word «hockey» in BrE refers to field hockey, while in AmE «hockey» means ice hockey.











British English American English
Pinafore Dress Jumper
Trousers Pants
Trainers Sneakers
Swimming costume Bathing Suit
Holiday Vacation
dinner Lunch
Public School Private School
Headmaster mistress Principal
Postman Postal Worker
Policeman Cop
Guard Conductor
Sorbet sherbet
Autumn Fall
Rounders Baseball
Football Soccer
Lift Elevator
cinema movie house/ theater
district precinct
film movie
giddy dizzy
larder pantry
pack (of cards) deck
prison penitentiary









Many differences involve pronunciation of individual words or groups of


Asia [   ‘eiᶘᴐ      ] [  ‘eiᶚᴐ            ]
Lever [    li’:ᴐ      ] [    ‘leverl        ]
Either [   ‘ᶏᶖᶁᴐ      ] [    ‘I:ᶁᶕv         ]
Tomato [tᶕ’ma:tou ] [  tᶕ’meitou     ]
Vase [   ‘va:z      ] [  ‘veiz            ]
Replite [veptᶏil     ] [  veptᶕl         ]
research [ vi:sᶔ:tᶊ    ] [  ‘visᶕtᶊ         ]
Adult [  ᶕ’dᴧlt     ] [  ‘ᴔdᴧlt          ]
Negro [  ‘ni:grou  ] [  ‘nigrᶕ           ]
Tomorrow [  tᶕmᶗvo  ] [  tᶕ’mavᶕ       ]
Pocket [    pᴐkit    ] [   ‘pakᶕt         ]
Missouri [  mizuᶕri  ] [ mizu:rᶕ         ]
Cincinnnati [‘sinsᶕ’na:ti] [ sinsᶕ’nᴔᶕ    ]
Neitheir [‘nᶏᶁᶕ        ] [ niᶁᶕ              ]
Lieutenant [‘le’ftᶕnᶕnt ] [  lu’tᶓnᶕnt       ]
Depot [ depou     ] [   dipo             ]
Suggest [ sᶕ’dᶚest  ] [sᶕg’dᶚest       ]
Address [ ᶕ’dres      ] [ ᴔ’dres          ]
Cigarette [sigᴔᶕ’ret ] [‘sigᶕret           ]
Magazine [mᴔgᶕ’zi:n] [‘mᴔgᶕzin      ]
inquiry [ iᶇ’kwaiᶕri ] [‘ᶆkwaiᶕri       ]


Week end, ice-cream, hot-dog, New York  — stress on the 1st element_G.A

— stress on the 2nd element_R.P

-ory, -ary, mony have secondary stress in G.A


tertiary           [  ‘tᶕ:r’teri        ]

laboratory      [  ‘ᴔbrᶕ’tᴐ       ]

dictionary       [  ‘dikᶘᶕ’neri     ]

secretary        [ ‘sekrᶕ’teri     ]

testimony       [ ‘testi’mouni   ]





  1.  Conclusion

The comparative analyses of our work: the ways is which national varieties converge and diverge and the sometime the principal development which each national variety underwent, give grounds to maintain that every national variety of English pronunciation follows the pattern ay its own.

Summarizing the work, I want to point out the questions that delimitation of literary and dialectal pronunciations in America is more difficult than in England. As we know, in Great Britain the Southern English Pronunciation is taken in the character of literary model.

I hope that I succeeded in achieving the main aim of this work: I showed the development of American English, the differences it had suffered and proved the fact. That there is no established pronunciation in the United States of America according which the language should be spoken in definite territories.

In conclusion we may that the problems of convergence and divergence in the phonetic system of national varieties of English pronunciation open up wide vistas for further investigations.

Modern technology has eradicated our regional and local dialects. People migrate and move today more than ever before, which makes for a blending of accents and vocabularies. Television, radio and the move today more than ever before, which makes for a blending of accents and vocabularies. Television, radio and the movies have all done their part to equalize the habits of pronunciation.









  1. Bibliography
  2. English Phonetics.

A Theoretical Course.

Москва Высшая школа,1991 год.

И.С. Соколова.

Р.М Тихонова. Pp. 232-237.

  1. English phonetics.

Издательство Просвещение

Москва Лениград 1965

Ольга Иосифовна Дикушина. Pp.191-201.

  1. S.F. Leontyeva. A Theoretical Corce Of English Phonetics.

2-издатель Высшая школа 1988г. С. 271 рр. 213-226.

  1. V. A. Vassilyev.

English Phonetics. A Theoretical Course M — 70.

  1. 3-9;
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  3. Angela.D.P.
  4. Peace Corps Volunteers Kazakhstan.

И.Я.Ш № 2 (14) март, апрель. 2005 г. Рр. 15-20

English O. V. Afanasyeva, I.V. Micheeva.

Prosveshcheniye   Москва — 2000 г.

Uchebnic dlya 7 classa pp. 30-31.