Regional variation of pronunciation in the south-west of England

МОСКОВСКИЙ ГОРОДСКОЙ ПЕДАГОГИЧЕСКИЙ УНИВЕРСИТЕТ Факультет иностранных языков Английское отделение Дипломная работа по фонетике английского языка


Факультет иностранных языков

Английское отделение

Дипломная работа

по фонетике английского языка

на тему:


Москва 2001



Part I. The Specific Features of dialects

1. What is the “dialect”?……………………………………………………………4

2. Geographic dialects………………………………………………………………5

3. Dialectal change and diffusion…………………………………………………...5

4. Unifying influences on dialects…………………………………………………..8

5. Focal, relic, and transitional areas………………………………………………..9

6. Received Pronunciation………………………………………………………….9

7. Who first called it PR?………………………………………………………….10

8. Social Variation…………………………………………………………………11

9. Dialects of England: Traditional and Modern…………………………………..12

Part II. Background to the Cornish Language

1. Who are the Cornish?…………………………………………………………...15

2. What is a Celtic Language?…………………………………………………….15

3. How is Cornish Related to other Celtic Languages?…………………………...15

4. The Decline of Cornish…………………………………………………………15

5. The Rebirth of Cornish…………………………………………………………16

6. Standard Cornish………………………………………………………………..16

7. Who uses Cornish Today?……………………………………………………...16

8. Government Recognition for Cornish…………………………………………..16

Part III. Peculiarities of South-Western Dialects
1. Vocalisation…………………………………………………………………….18

2. Consonantism…………………………………………………………………...23

3. Grammar………………………………………………………………………..27

3.1 Nouns……………………………………………………………………….27

3.2 Gender………………………………………………………………………27

3.2.1 Gender making in Wessex-type English………………………………….27

3.3 Numerals……………………………………………………………………29

3.4 Adjectives…………………………………………………………………...29

.5 Pronouns…………………………………………………………………….30

3.5.1 Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns

in a Devonshire dialect…………………………………………………31

3.6 Verbs……………………………………………………………………...39

3.7 Adverbs…………………………………………………………………...42

3.8 Transitivity and intransivity in the dialects

of South-West England…………………………………………………...44

4. Vocabulary………………………………………………………………..52




The modern English language is an international language nowadays. It is also the first spoken language of such countries as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa.

But in the very United Kingdom there are some varieties of it, called dialects, and accents.

The purpose of the present research paper is to study the characteristic features of the present day dialect of the South-Western region in particular.

To achieve this purpose it is necessary to find answers to the following questions:

- What is the “dialect”?

- Why and where is it spoken?

- How does it differ from the standard language?

Methods of this research paper included the analysis of works of the famous linguists and phoneticians as Peter Trudgill and J.K. Chambers, Paddock and Harris, J.A. Leuvensteijn and J.B. Berns, M.M. Makovsky and D.A. Shakhbagova, and also the needed information from Britannica and the encyclopedia by David Crystal and the speech of the native population of Devonshire and Wiltshire.

Structurally the paper consists of three parts focused on the information about “the dialect” in general and the ways it differs from the standard language (its phonetic, grammar and other linguistic differences), and the specific features of the South-West of England.

The status of the English language in the XXth century has undergone certain changes. Modern English has become a domineering international language of nowadays.

PART I. The Specific Features of dialects.

1. What is the “dialect”?

Dialect is a variety of a language. This very word comes from the Ancient Greek dialectos “discourse, language, dialect”, which is derived from dialegesthai “to discourse, talk”. A dialect may be distinguished from other dialects of the same language by features of any part of the linguistic structure - the phonology, morphology, or syntax.

“The label dialect, or dialectal, is attached to substandard speech, language usage that deviates from the accepted norm. On the other hand the standard language can be regarded as one of the dialects of a given language. In a special historical sense, the term dialect applies to a language considered as one of a group deriving from a common ancestor, e.g. English dialects”. (№9, p.389)

It is often considered difficult to decide whether two linguistic varieties are dialects of the same language or two separate but closely related languages; this is especially true of dialects of primitive societies.

Normally, dialects of the same language are considered to be mutually intelligible while different languages are not. Intelligibility between dialects is, however, almost never absolutely complete; on the other hand, speakers of closely related languages can still communicate to a certain extent when each uses his own mother tongue. Thus, the criterion of intelligibility is quite relative. In more developed societies, the distinction between dialects and related languages is easier to make because of the existence of standard languages and, in some cases, national consciousness.

There is the term ‘vernacular’ among the synonyms for dialect; it refers to the common, everyday speech of the ordinary people of a region. The word accent has numerous meanings; in addition to denoting the pronunciation of a person or a group of people (“a foreign accent”, “a British accent”, “a Southern accent”). In contrast to accent, the term dialect is used to refer not only to the sounds of language but also to its grammar and vocabulary.

2. Geographic dialects.

The most widespread type of dialectal differentiation is geographic. As a rule, the speech of one locality differs from that of any other place. Differences between neighbouring local dialects are usually small, but, in travelling farther in the same direction, differences accumulate.

“Every dialectal feature has its own boundary line, called an isogloss (or sometimes heterogloss). Isoglosses of various linguistic phenomena rarely coincide completely, and by crossing and interweaving they constitute intricate patterns on dialect maps. Frequently, however, several isoglosses are grouped approximately together into a bundle of isoglosses. This grouping is caused either by geographic obstacles that arrest the diffusion of a number of innovations along the same line or by historical circumstances, such as political borders of long standing, or by migrations that have brought into contact two populations whose dialects were developed in noncontiguous areas”. (№9, p.396)

Geographic dialects include local ones or regional ones. Regional dialects do have some internal variation, but the differences within a regional dialect are supposedly smaller than differences between two regional dialects of the same rank.

“In a number of areas (“linguistic landscapes”) where the dialectal differentiation is essentially even, it is hardly justified to speak of regional dialects. This uniformity has led many linguists to deny the meaningfulness of such a notion altogether; very frequently, however, bundles of isoglosses - or even a single isogloss of major importance - permit the division, of a territory into regional dialects. The public is often aware of such divisions, usually associating them with names of geographic regions or provinces, or with some feature of pronunciation. Especially clear-cut cases of division are those in which geographic isolation has played the principal role”. (№9, p.397)

3. Dialectal change and diffusion.

The basic cause of dialectal differentiation is linguistic change. Every living language constantly changes in its various elements. Because languages are extremely complex systems of signs, it is almost inconceivable that linguistic evolution could affect the same elements and even transform them in the same way in all regions where one language is spoken and for all speakers in the same region. At first glance, differences caused by linguistic change seem to be slight, but they inevitably accumulate with time (e.g. compare Chaucer’s English with modern English). Related languages usually begin as dialects of the same language.

“When a change (an innovation) appears among only one section of the speakers of a language, this automatically creates a dialectal difference. Sometimes an innovation in dialect A contrasts with the unchanged usage (archaism) in dialect B. Sometimes a separate innovation occurs in each of the two dialects. Of course, different innovations will appear in different dialects, so that, in comparison with its contemporaries, no one dialect as a whole can be considered archaic in any absolute sense. A dialect may be characterized as relatively archaic, because it shows fewer innovations than the others; or it may be archaic in one feature only”. (№9, p.415)

After the appearance of a dialectal feature, interaction between speakers who have adopted this feature and those who have not leads to the expansion of its area or even to its disappearance. In a single social milieu (generally the inhabitants of the same locality, generation and social class), the chance of the complete adoption or rejection of a new dialectal feature is very great; the intense contact and consciousness of membership within the social group fosters such uniformity. When several age groups or social strata live within the same locality and especially when people speaking the same language live in separate communities dialectal differences are easily maintained.

“The element of mutual contact plays a large role in the maintenance of speech patterns; that is why differences between geographically distant dialects are normally greater than those between dialects of neighbouring settlements. This also explains why bundles of isoglosses so often form along major natural barriers - impassable mountain ranges, deserts, uninhabited marshes or forests, or wide rivers - or along political borders. Similarly, racial or religious differences contribute to linguistic differentiation because contact between members of one faith or race and those of another within the same area is very often much more superficial and less frequent than contact between members of the same racial or religious group. An especially powerful influence is the relatively infrequent occurrence of intemarriages, thus preventing dialectal mixture at the point where it is most effective; namely, in the mother tongue learned by the child at home”. (№9, p.417)

The fact that speech, in particular, can give such a clear answer to the question “Where are you from?” exercises a peculiar fascination, and the terms dialect and accent are a normal part of everyday vocabulary. We can notice regional differences in the way people talk, laugh at dialect jokes, enjoy dialect literature and folklore and appreciate the point of dialect parodies.

At the same time - and this is the paradox of dialect study - we can easily make critical judgements about ways of speaking which we perceive as alien. These attitudes are usually subconscious.

The study of regional linguistic variation is very important. The more we know about regional variation and change in the use of English, the more we will come to appreciate the individuality of each of the varieties which we call dialects, and the less we are likely to adopt demeaning stereotypes about people from other parts of the country.

As for the United Kingdom until 1700 the small population was sparsely distributed and largely rural and agricultural, much as it had been in medieval times. From the mid-18th century, scientific and technological innovations created the first modern industrial state, while, at the same time, agriculture was undergoing technical and tenurial changes and revolutionary improvements in transport made easier the movement of materials and people. As a result, by the first decade of the 19th century, a previously mainly rural population had been largely replaced by a nation made up of industrial workers and town dwellers.

The rural exodus was a long process. The breakdown of communal farming started before the 14th century; and subsequently enclosures advanced steadily, especially after 1740, until a century later open fields had virtually disappeared from the landscape. Many of the landless agricultural labourers so displaced were attracted to the better opportunities for employment and the higher wage levels existing in the growing industries; their movements, together with those of the surplus population produced by the contemporary rapid rise in the birth rate, resulted in a high volume of internal migration that took the form of a movement toward the towns.

Industry, as well as the urban centres that inevitably grew up around it, was increasingly located near the coalfields, while the railway network, which grew rapidly after 1830, enhanced the commercial importance of many towns. The migration of people especially young people, from the country to industrialized towns took place at an unprecedented rate in the early railway age, and such movements were relatively confined geographically.

Soon after World War I, new interregional migrations flow commenced when the formerly booming 19th -century industrial and mining districts lost much of their economic momentum. Declining or stagnating heavy industry in Clydeside, northeastern England, South Wales, and parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire swelled the ranks of the unemployed, and the consequent outward migration became the drift to the relatively more prosperous Midlands and southern England. This movement of people continued until it was arrested by the relatively full employment conditions that obtained soon after the outbreak of World War II.

In the 1950-s, opportunities for employment in the United Kingdom improved with government sponsored diversification of industry, and this did much to reduce the magnitude of the prewar drift to the south. The decline of certain northern industries - coal mining shipbuilding, and cotton textiles in particular - had nevertheless reached a critical level by the late 1960s, and the emergence of new growth points in the West Midlands and southwestern England made the drift to the south a continuing feature of British economic life. Subsequently, the area of most rapid growth shifted to East Anglia, the South West, and the East Midlands. This particular spatial emphasis resulted from the deliberately planned movement of people to the New Towns in order to relieve the congestion around London.

4. Unifying influences on dialects.

Communication lines such as roads (if they are at least several centuries old), river valleys, or seacoasts often have a unifying influence. Also important urban centres often form the hub of a circular region in which the same dialect is spoken. In such areas the prestige dialect of the city has obviously expanded. As a general rule, those dialects, or at least certain dialectal features, with greater social prestige tend to replace those that are valued lower on the social scale.

In times of less frequent contact between populations, dialectal differences increase, in periods, of greater contact, they diminish. Mass literacy, schools, increased mobility of populations, and mass communications all contribute to this tendency.

Mass migrations may also contribute to the formation of a more or less uniform dialect over broad geographic areas. Either the resulting dialect is that of the original homeland of a particular migrating population or it is a dialect mixture formed by the levelling of differences among migrants from more than one homeland. The degree of dialectal differentiation depends to a great extent on the length of time a certain population has remained in a certain place.

5. Focal, relic, and transitional areas.

Dialectologists often distinguish between focal areas - which provide sources of numerous important innovations and usually coincide with centres of lively economic or cultural activity - and relic areas - places toward which such innovations are spreading but have not usually arrived. (Relic areas also have their own innovations, which, however, usually extend over a smaller geographical area.)

“Relic areas or relic phenomena are particularly common in out-of-the-way regional pockets or along the periphery of a particular language’s geographical territory.

The borders of regional dialects often contain transitional areas that share some features with one neighbour and some with the other. Such mixtures result from unequal diffusion of innovations from both sides. Similar unequal diffusion in mixed dialects in any region also may be a consequence of population mixture created by migrations”. (№9, p.420)

6. Received Pronunciation.

“The abbreviation RP (Received Pronunciation) denotes the speech of educated people living in London and the southeast of England and of other people elsewhere who speak in this way. If the qualifier ‘educated’ be assumed, RP is then a regional (geographical) dialect, as contrasted with London Cockney, which is a class (social) dialect. RP is not intrinsically superior to other varieties of English; it is itself only one particular regional dialect that has, through the accidents of history, achieved more extensive use than others. Although acquiring its unique status without the aid of any established authority, it may have been fostered by the public schools (Winchester, Eton, Harrow and so on) and the ancient universities (Oxford and Cambridge). Other varieties of English are well preserved in spite of the levelling influences of film, television, and radio”. (№8, p.365)

The ancestral form of RP was well-established over 400 years ago as the accent of the court and the upper classes. The English courtier George Puttenham writing in 1589 thought that the English of nothern men, whether they be noblemen or gentlemen… is not so courtly or so current as our Southern English is.

The present-day situation.

Today, with the breakdown of rigid divisions between social classes and the development of the mass media, RP is no longer the preserve of a social elite. It is most widely heard on the BBC; but there are also conservative and trend-setting forms.

Early BBC recordings show how much RP has altered over just a few decades, and they make the point that no accent is immune to change, not even “the best”. But the most important fact is that RP is no longer as widely used today as it was 50 years ago. Most educated people have developed an accent which is a mixture of RP and various regional characteristics - “modified RP”, some call it. In some cases, a former RP speaker has been influenced by regional norms; in other cases a former regional speaker has moved in the direction of RP.

7. Who first called it RP?

The British phonetician Daniel Jones was the first to codify the properties of RP. It was not a label he much liked, as he explains in “An Outline of English Phonetics” (1980):

“I do not consider it possible at the present time to regard any special type as “standard” or as intrinsically “better” than other types. Nevertheless, the type described in this book is certainly a useful one. It is based on my own (Southern) speech, and is, as far as I can ascertain, that generally used by those who have been educated at “preparatory” boarding schools and the “Public Schools”… The term “Received Pronunciation”… is often used to designate this type of pronunciation. This term is adopted here for want of a better”. (1960, 9th edn, p.12)

The historical linguist H.C. Wyld also made much use of the term ‘received’ in “A Short History of English” (1914):

“It is proposed to use the term ‘Received Standard’ for that form which all would probably agree in considering the best that form which has the widest currency and is heard with practically no variation among speakers of the better class all over the country”. (1927, 3rd edn, p.149)

The previous usage to which Jones refers can be traced back to the dialectologist A.J. Ellis, in “On Early English Pronunciation” (1869):

“In the present day we may, however, recognize a received pronunciation all over the country… It may be especially considered as the educated pronunciation of the metropolis of the court, the pulpit, and the bar”. (p.23)

Even then, there were signs of the future, for he goes on to say:

“But in as much as all these localities and professions are recruited from the provinces, there will be a varied thread of provincial utterance running through the whole”.» (№8, p.365)

8. Social variation.

As for the accents, they refer to the varieties in pronunciation, which convey information about a person’s geographical origin. These varieties are partly explained by social mobility and new patterns of settlement. Distinct groups or social formation within the whole may be set off from each other in a variety of ways: by gender, by age, by class, by ethnic identity. Particular groups will tend to have characteristic ways of using the language-characteristic ways of pronouncing it, - for example - and these will help to mark off the boundaries of one group from another. They belong to different social groups and perform different social roles. A person might be identified as ‘a woman’, ‘a parent’, ‘a child’, ‘a doctor’, or in many other ways. Many people speak with an accent, which shows the influence of their place of work. Any of these identities can have consequences for the kind of language they use. Age, sex, and socio-economic class have been repeatedly shown to be of importance when it comes to explaining the way sounds, constructions, and vocabulary vary.

I think the best example to show it is the famous play “Pygmalion” by Bernard Shaw touched upon social classes, speech and social status of people using different types of accents and dialects. One of the ideas was that it is possible to tell from a person’s speech not only where he comes from but what class he belongs to. But no matter what class a person belongs to, he can easily change his pronunciation depending on what environment he finds himself in. The heroine Liza aired his views, saying: “When a child is brought to a foreign country, it picks up the language in a few weeks, and forgets its own. Well, I am a child in your country. I have forgotten my own language, and can speak nothing but yours.” (№13, p.64).

So some conclusions about the kinds of social phenomena that influence change through contact with other dialects can be made:

a) dialects differ from region through the isolation of groups of speakers;

b) dialects change through contact with other dialects;

c) the upper classes reinforce Standard English and RP through education.

9. Dialects of England: Traditional and Modern.

After the retirement of the Romans from the island the invading immigrants were the Jutes, Saxons, Danes and Angles. The Jutes seized Kent, The Isle of Wight and a part of the mainland; the Saxons had all those parts that have now the suffix ‘sex’, as Essex, Sussex, Middlesex, and Wessex; and the Angles took possession of that tract of the north that has the present terminations ‘land’, ‘shire’ and ‘folk’, as Suffolk, Yorkshire, Northumberland. These last afterwards gave the name to the whole island.

Dialects are not to be considered corruption of a language, but as varieties less favoured than the principal tongue of the country. Of the various dialects, it must be borne in mind that the northern countries retain many words now obsolete in current English: these words are of the genuine Teutonic stock. The pronunciation may seem rough and harsh, but is the same as that used by the forefathers; consequently it must not be considered barbarous. The other countries of England differ from the vernacular by a depraved pronunciation.

Awareness of regional variation in England is evident from the fourteenth century, seen in the observation of such writers as Higden/Trevisa or William Caxton and in the literary presentation of the characters in Chaucer’s “Reeve’s Tale” or the Wakefield “Second Shepherd’s Play”. Many of the writers on spelling and grammar in the 16th and 17th centuries made comments about regional variation, and some (such as Alexander Gil) were highly systematic in their observants, though the material is often obscured by a fog of personal prejudices.

The picture which emerges from the kind of dialect information obtained by the Survey of English Dialects relates historically to the dialect divisions recognized in Old and Middle English.

The classification of modern dialects presents serious difficulties as their boundaries are rather vague and the language standard more and more invades the spread area of the dialectal speech. One of the most serious attempts at such classification was made by A. Ellis. His classification more or less exactly reflects the dialectal map of modern Great Britain and it was taken as the basis by many dialectologists.

The map below displays thirteen traditional dialect areas (it excludes the western tip of Cornwall and most of Wales, which were not English speaking until the 18th century). A major division is drawn between the North and everywhere else, broadly following the boundary between the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Northumbria and Mercia, and a Secondary division is found between much of the Midlands and areas further south. A hierarchal representation of the dialect relationship is shown below. (№8, p.324).

Regional variation of pronunciation in the south-west of England

Relatively few people in England now speak a dialect of the kind represented above. Although some forms will still be encountered in real life, they are more often found in literary representations of dialect speech and in dialect humour books. The disappearance of such pronunciations, and their associated lexicon and grammar, is sometimes described as “English dialects dying out”. The reality is that they are more than compensated for by the growth of a range of comparatively new dialect forms, chiefly associated with the urban areas of the country. If the distinguishing features of these dialects are used as the basis of classification, a very different-looking dialect map emerges with 16 major divisions.

Regional variation of pronunciation in the south-west of England

Part II. Background of the Cornish language.

The southwestern areas of England include Devonshire, Somersetshire, Cornwall, Wiltshire and Dosertshire. But first of all I’d like to draw your attention to the Cornish language as it doesn’t exist now.

The History of Cornish.

1. Who are the Cornish?

The Cornish are a Celtic people, in ancient times the Westernmost kingdom of the Dumnonii, the people who inhabited all of Cornwall, Devon and West Somerset.

The Cornish are probably the same people who have lived in Cornwall since the introduction of farming around 3000 B.C.. The start of farming in Cornwall may also indicate the start of what some scholars now term ‘proto Indo-European’, from whence the Celtic languages along with the Italic and other related groups of languages began evolving.

2. What is a Celtic Language?

Around 2000 B.C., the group of languages now called Celtic languages started to split away from the other members of the Indo-European group of languages. By 1200 B.C. Celtic civilisation, a heroic culture with its own laws and religion is first known. It is from this period that the first king lists and legends are believed to come.

3. How is Cornish Related to other Celtic Languages?

Between 1500 B.C. and the first encounters with the Romans (around 350 B.C.), the Celtic languages are believed to split into two distinct groups, the ‘p’ and ‘q’ Celtic branches. Cornish, Welsh and Breton (to which Cornish is most closely related) are the three remaining ‘p’ Celtic languages. Irish, Scots Gaelic and Manx being the ‘q’ Celtic tongues.

4. The Decline of Cornish.

Cornish developed pretty much naturally into a modern European language until the 17th century, after which it came under pressure by the encroachment of English. Factors involved in its decline included the introduction of the English prayer book, the rapid introduction of English as a language of commerce and most particularly the negative stigma associated with what was considered by Cornish people themselves as the language of the poor.

5. The Rebirth of Cornish.

Cornish died out as a native language in the late 19th century, with the last Cornish speaker believed to have lived in Penwith. By this time however, Cornish was being revived by Henry Jenner, planting the seeds for the current state of the language and it is supposed that the last native speaker was the fishwoman Dolly Pentreath.

6. Standard Cornish.

Standard Cornish was developed from Jenner’s work by a team under the leadership of Morton Nance, culminating in the first full set of grammars, dictionaries and periodicals. Standard Cornish (Unified) is again being developed through UCR (Unified Cornish Revised), and incorporates most features of Cornish, including allowing for Eastern and Western forms of pronunciation and colloquial and literary forms of Cornish.

7. Who uses Cornish Today?

Today Cornish typically appeals to all age groups and to those either who have an empathy with Cornwall, who have Cornish roots or perhaps have moved to Cornwall from elsewhere. One of the great successes of Cornish today is ifs wide appeal. After a break in native speakers for nearly one hundred years, Cornwall now has many children who now have Cornish as a native language along side English, and many more who are fluent in the language.

8. Government Recognition for Cornish .

Cornish is the only modern Celtic language that receives no significant support from government, despite the growing numbers learning Cornish, and the immense good will towards it from ordinary Cornish people and from elsewhere.

This contrasts strongly with the favourable stand taken by the Manx government towards Manx for example, as evidenced by Manx primary school places being made generally available.

Recently, the UK government scrapped the Cornish GCSE. Lack of Cornish language facilities and support is no longer just a language issue, but is rapidly becoming a civil rights and political issue too. Despite the growing support of councillors in Cornwall, some key individuals in County Hall continue to make clear their hostility to the language.

e.g. of the Cornish language:

“Pyw yw an Gernowyon?

Pobel Geltek yw an bobel a Gernow . Yn osow hendasek, an wtas Gorfewenna yn Wtas Dumnonii, neb a dregas yn Kernow, Dewnans ha Gwtas an Haf.

Y hyltyr bos del An Gernowyon a wrug trega yn Kernow hedro an dallath gonys tyr adro 3000 K.C.. An dallath gonys tyr yn Kernow a vo dallath an os ‘proto Yndo-Europek’, dres an tavajow Keltek ha tavajow Ytaiek dallath dhe dhysplegya.”

Part III. Peculiarities of South-Western Dialects.

1. Vocalisation.




“a” after “w”

is realized as [a:]:

wasp [wa:sp]

watch [wa:t∫]

want [wa:nt]

wander [wa:nd ]

is realized as [æ]:

warm [wærm]

warn [wærn]

wart [wært]

“asp”, “ass”, “ast”, “a” → [æ]: grass [græs], glass [glæs], fast [fæst]

“al + a consonant”

“l” is realized as [a:] or

[ :]:

talk [ta:k]

walk [wa:k]

chalk [t∫a:k]

balk [ba:k]

a + l, a + ll

in the open syllable

“a” → [æ]:

crane [kræn]

frame [fræm]

lame [læm]

make [mæk]

name [næm]

in the open syllable

“a” → [æ]:

crane [kræn]

frame [fræm]

lame [læm]

make [mæk]

name [næm]

The first sound is vowel

acre [jakr]

ale [jal]

acorn [’jak∂rn]

hare [hja:r]

ache [jek]

acorn [jek∂rn]

behave [bı’hjev]

“e” in the closed syllables → “a”



egg [ag], fetch [fat∫], step [stap],

wretch [rat∫], stretch [strat∫]

“e” in the closed syllables → [eı]



egg [eıg], stretch [streıt∫]

“e” in the closed syllables → [e:]




Leg [le:g], bed [be:d], hedge [he:dz]

if “e” follows “w” → [ :]


well [w :l]

twelve [tw :lv]

wench [w :nt∫]

“i” in the closed syllable



→ [e]:

big [beg]

bid [bed]

flitch [fletch]

sit [set]

spit [spet]

→ [ ]:

bill [b l]

little [’l tl]

children [’t∫ ldr n]

cliff [kl f]

hill [h l]

drift [dr ft]

shrimp [∫r mp]

fit [f t]

ship [∫ p]

pig [p g]

fish [f ∫]

“ight” → [e]



flight, right

if a nasal consonant follows “i”

→ [e]:

sing [seŋ]

cling [kleŋ]

→ [e]:

sing [seŋ]

cling [kleŋ]

“i” before “nd”


→ [e]:

bind [ben]

blind [blen]

find [ven]

grind [gren]

“i” before “ld”


→ [i:]:

mild [mi:ld]

wild [wi:ld]

child [t∫ıld]

“i” in the open syllable



→ [eı]:

fly [fleı]

lie [leı]

thigh [θeı]

→ [eı]:

bide [beıd]

wide [weıd]

time [teım]


→ [ ı]:

fly [fl ı]

lie [l ı]

“o” in the closed syllable followed by a consonant



→ [a:]:

dog [da:g]

cross [kra:s]

→ [ ]:

cot [k t]

bottom [b tm]

dog [d g]

cross [kr s]


→ [a:]:

dog [da:g]

cross [kra:s]

“o” + a nasal consonant




→ [æ]:

among [∂’mæŋ]

long [læŋ]

wrong [ræŋ]

→ [æ]:

among [∂’mæŋ]

long [læŋ]

wrong [ræŋ]

among [∂’mæŋ]

long [læŋ]

wrong [ræŋ]

“ol” + a consonant



→ [u∂]:

gold [gv∂ld]

old [u∂ld]

→ [u∂]:

gold [gv∂ld]

old [u∂ld]

“o” in the open syllable and “oa”


→ [ ]:

bone [b n]

broad [br d]

rope [r p]

load [l d]


→ [aı]:

choice [t∫aıs]

join [dzaın]

moil [maıl]

point [paınt]

spoil [spaıl]

voice [vaıs]

“u” in the closed syllable


→ [e]:

but [bet]

dust [dest]

“ou” / ”ow”


→ [av]:

low [lav]

owe [au]





→ [ı]:

good [gıd]

hood [hıd]

foot [fıt]

blood [blıd]

stood [stıd]

bloom [blım]

broom [brım]

moon [mın]

loom [lım]

→ [ö]:

book [bök]

cook [kök]

crook [krök]

look [lök]

took [tök]

good [göd]

foot [föt]

stood [stöd]

→ [ ]:

book [b k]

brook [br k]

crook [kr k]

look [l k]

took [t k]

good [g d]

foot [f t]

soot [s t]

flood [fl d]


→ [ ]:

book [b k]

brook [br k]

crook [kr k]

“i” in the open syllable



→ [eı]:

fly [fleı]

lie [leı]

thigh [θeı]

→ [eı]:

bide [beıd]

wide [weıd]

time [teım]


→ [ ı]:

fly [fl ı]

lie [l ı]

“o” in the closed syllable followed by a consonant



→ [a:]:

dog [da:g]

cross [kra:s]

→ [ ]:

cot [k t]

bottom [b tm]

dog [d g]

cross [kr s]


→ [a:]:

dog [da:g]

cross [kra:s]




“o” + a nasal consonant




→ [æ]: among [∂’mæŋ], long [læŋ], wrong [wræŋ]

“ol” + a consonant



→ [u∂l]: gold [gv∂ld], old [u∂ld]



→ [ ]:

bone [b n]

broad [br d]

rope [r p]

load [l d]


→ [aı]:

choice [t∫aıs]

join [dzaın]

moil [maıl]

point [paınt]

spoil [spaıl]

voice [vaıs]

“u” in the closed syllable


→ [e]:

but [bet]

dust [dest]



→ [av]:

low [lav]

owe [au]





→ [ı]:

good [gıd]

hood [hıd]

foot [fıt]

blood [blıd]

stood [stıd]

bloom [blım]

broom [brım]

moon [mın]

loom [lım]

root [rıt]

spoon [spın]

→ [ö]:

book [bök]

cook [kök]

crook [krök]

look [lök]

took [tök]

good [göd]

foot [föt]

stood [stöd]

→ [ ]:

book [b k]

brook [br k]

crook [kr k]

look [l k]

took [t k]

good [g d]

foot [f t]

soot [s t]

flood [fl d]


→ [ ]:

book [b k]

brook [br k]

crook [kr k]

look [l k]

“er”, “ir”, “ur”


→ [a:]:

learn [la:n]

earth [a:θ]

bird [ba:d]

birch [ba:t∫]

merchant [’ma:t∫∂nt]

herb [ha:b]

work [wa:k]


→ [a:]: fork [fa:k], horse [ha:s], horn [ha:n], short [∫a:t],

Morning [’ma:nıŋ], word [wa:d]




→ [ü:]:

dew [dü:]

few [fü:]

→ [jav]:

dew [djau]

few [fjau]

new [njau]

2. Consonantism

[w] in the beginning of the word or before “h”

old [w l]

oak [w k]

hot [w t]

home [w m]

orchard [wurt∫∂t]

hole [hwul]

hope [hwup]

open [’wupen]

[w] is not pronounced:

week [ouk]

swick [su:k]

“w” before “r”

is not pronounced


is not pronounced

→ [vr]:

wreck, wren, wrench, wrap, write, wrong

e.g. Ye vratch, ye’ve vrutten that a’vrang.

(= You wretch, you’ve written that all wrong.)

“wh” at the beginning of a word is [w], [u:], [u∂]

in the middle of a word [w] is pronounced

boy [bwo], moist [mw ıst], toad [twud], cool [kwul], country [’kwıntrı]

“f”, “th”, “s”, “sh” are voiced

Friday [’vræ:dı], friends [vrınz], fleas [vle:z], and in the these words: foe, father, fair, fear, find, fish, foal, full, follow, filth, fist, fire, fond, fault, feast, force, forge, fool.

[θ]: thought [ð :t], thick [ðık], thigh [ðaı], and in the words: from, freeze, fresh, free, friend, frost, frog, froth, flesh, fly flock, flood, fleece, fling, flower, fail.

“t” at the beginning of the word before a vowel


→ [t∫]:

team [t∫em],

tune [t∫un],

Tuesday [’t∫uzde]

East D “t” in the middle of the word is voiced:

bottle [’b dl],

kettle [’kedl],

little [’lıdl],

nettle [’nedl],

bottom [’b dm],

matter [’med∂],

cattle [’k dl],

kittens [kıdnz]

“t” in the middle of the word is voiced


bottle [’b dl],

kettle [’kedl],

little [’lıdl],

nettle [’nedl],

bottom [’b dm],

matter [’med∂],

cattle [’k dl],

kittens [kıdnz]

The consonant [t] in (the French borrowings) hasn’t become [t∫] as it is in RP:

picture [’pıkt∂r], nature [’net∂r], feature [’fı∂t∂r]

the middle [t] sometimes disappears in the positions before “m…l”, “n…l”, “m…r”


brimstone [’brımsn]

empty [’empı]

The same happens to the middle [b]:

chamber > chimmer,

embers > emmers,

brambles > brimmels

between “l” and “r”; “r” and “l”; “n” and “r” a parasitic [d] has developed

parlour [’pa:ld∂r], tailor [’taıld∂r], smaller [’sm :ld∂r], curls [’ka:dlz], hurl [’a:dl], marl [’ma:dl], quarrel [’kw :dl], world [’wa:dl], corner [’ka:nd∂r]


a parasitic [d] appeared after [l, n, r]:

feel [fi:ld]

school [sku:ld]

idle [aıdld]

mile [maıdl]

born [ba∂nd]

soul [s :ld]

soon [zu:nd]

gown [gaund]

swoon [zaund]

wine [waınd]

miller [’mıl∂d]

scholar [’sk l∂d]

the middle [d] in the word “needle” comes after [l]: [ni:ld]


In the word “disturb” [b] is pronounced as [v] -

[dis, t∂:v]

the first [θ] is pronounced as [ð]

thank [ðæŋk] and in other words: thatch, thaw, thigh, thin, thing, think, third, thistle, thong, thought, thousand, thumb, thunder, Thursday

Sometimes [θ] is pronounced as [t] at the end of the word:

lath [lat]


In some words [s] at the beginning of the word is pronounced as [∫]:

suet [∫uıt].

The same happens when [s] is in the middle of the word:

first [fer∫t]

breast [brı∫t]

next [nı∫t]

North-West W: [s] is sometimes pronounced as [z]: sure [zu∂r]

“sh”, “sk” at the end of the word


→ [s]:

cask [k s]

flask [fl s]

leash [li:s]

tusk [tus]

Sometimes instead of [k] [t∫] is heard:

back [b t∫]

wark [wa:t∫]

sometimes the initial letter or a syllable is apsent



believe, deliver, desire, directly, disturb, eleven, enough, except, occasion, inquest, epidemic

the initial “cl”

→ [tl]: clad [tlad], clap, clay, claw, clean, cleave, clergy, clerk, clew, cliff, climb, cling, clip, cloak, close, clot, cloth, cloud, clout

“gl” in the beginning of the word

→ [dl]: glad, glass, glisten, gloom, glove, glow

[l] in the middle of the word isn’t pronounced




shoulder [’∫a:d∂r]

the Middle/Eastern

[l] is often → [ ]:

bill [bı’ ]

tool [tu’ ]

nibble [nı’b ]

milk [mı’ k]

silk [sı’ k]

3. Grammar.

3.1 Nouns.

The definite article.

- There isn’t the definite article before “same”: ’Tis same’s I always told ’ee”.

- The of-phrase “the… of” is of ten used instead of the possessive pronoun (e.g. “the head of him “instead of” his head”)

The plural form of a noun.

- In many cases -s (es) can be added for several times:

e.g. steps [’steps∂z] (South Som.)

- in some cases [n] is heard at the end of the word:

e.g. keys [ki:n] (Wil.)

cows [kain] (Dev.)

bottles [botln] (South-W. Dev.)

primroses [prımr zn] (Dev.)

- but sometimes [s] is heard in the words ended with “-n”

e.g. oxen [ ksnz] (Western Som.)

rushes [rıksnz] (Dev.)

- some nouns have the same form in the singular and in the plural:

e.g. chicken - chickens [t∫ık] (Som.)

pipe - pipes [paıp] (Som.)

- sometimes the plural form of the noun is used insted of the singular form:

a house [auzn] (Southern Wil.)

3.2 Gender.

The full characteristic of Gender in South-Western English I’d like to base on the part of the article by Paddock. Paddock uses the historical lebel “Wessex” to describe the countries of South-Western England.

3.2.1 Gender making in Wessex-type English.

“It is usually claimed that English nouns lost their grammatical gender during the historical period called Middle English, roughly 1100-1500. But this claim needs some qualification. What actually happened during the Middle English period was that more overt gender marking of English nouns gave way to more covert marking. As in Lyons (1968:281-8), the term ‘gender’ is used here to refer to morphosyntactic classes of nouns. It is true that the loss of adjective concord in Middle English made gender marking less overt; but Modern English still retains some deter­miner concord which allows us to classify nouns (Christophersen and Sandved 1969). In addition, Modern English (ModE), like Old English (OE) and Middle English (ME), possesses pronominal distinctions which enable us to classify nouns.

We can distinguish at least three distinctly different types of gender marking along the continuum from most overt to most covert. The most overt involves the marking of gender in the morphology of the noun itself, as in Swahili (Lyons 1968:284-6). Near the middle of the overt-covert continuum we could place the marking of gender in adnominals such as adjectives and deter­miners. At or near the covert end of the scale we find the marking of gender in pronominal systems.

During all three main historical stages of the English language (OE, ME, ModE) one has been able to assign nouns to three syntactic classes called MASCULINE, FEMININE and NEUTER. However, throughout the recorded history of English this three-way gender marking has become less and less overt. In OE all three types of gender marking were present. But even in OE the intrinsic marking (by noun inflections) was often am­biguous in that it gave more information about noun declension (ie paradigm class) than about gender (ie concord class). The least ambiguous marking of gender in OE was provided by the adnominals traditionally called demonstratives and definite ar­ticles. In addition, gender ‘discord’ sometimes occurred in OE, in that the intrinsic gender marking (if any) and the adnominal marking, on the one hand, did not always agree with the gender of the pronominal, on the other hand. Standard ME underwent the loss of a three-way gender distinction in the morphology of both the nominals and the adnominals. This meant that Standard ModE nouns were left with only the most covert type of three-way gender marking, that of the pronominals. Hence we can assign a Standard ModE noun to the gender class MASCULINE, FEMININE or NEUTER by depending only on whether it selects he, she or it respectively as its proform.

During the ME and Early ModE periods the south-western (here called Wessex-type) dialects of England diverged from Standard English in their developments of adnominal and pronominal subsystems. In particular, the demonstratives of Standard English lost all trace of gender marking, whereas in south-western dialects their OE three-way distinction of MASCULINE/FEMININE/NEUTER developed into a two-way MASS/COUNT distinction which has survived in some Wessex-type dialects of Late ModE. The result in Wessex was that the two-way distinction in adnominals such as demonstratives and in­definites came into partial conflict with the three-way distinction in pronominals”. (№18, p.31-32)

- Nowadays in the south-western dialects the pronouns ‘he’ / ‘she’ are used instead of a noun:

e.g. My ooman put her bonnet there last year, and the birds laid their eggs in him. (= it)

Wurs my shovel? I aa got’im; him’s her. (= Where is my shovel? I’ve got it. That’s it.)

- In the south-western dialects objects are divided into two categories:

1) countable nouns (a tool, a tree), and the pronouns ‘he’ / ‘she’ are used with them

2) uncountable nouns (water, dust), and the pronoun ‘it’ is used with them.

The pronoun ‘he’ is used towards women.

3.3 Numerals.

In south-western dialects the compound numerals (21-99) are pronounced as: five and fifty, six and thirty.

In Devonshire instead of ‘the second’ ‘twoth’ is used (the twenty-twoth of April).

3.4 Adjectives.

In all dialects of the south-west -er, -est are used in the comparative and superative degrees with one-, two- and more syllabic adjectives:

e.g. the naturaler

the seasonablest

delightfuller (-est)

worser - worsest (Dw.)

- The words: ‘gin’, ‘an’, ‘as’, ‘nor’, ‘till’, ‘by’, ‘to’, ‘in’, ‘on’ are used instead of ‘than’ in the comparative forms:

e.g. When the lad there wasn’t scarce the height of that stool, and a less size on (= than) his brother…;

That’s better gin naething;

More brass inney (= than you) hadd’n;

It’s moor in bargain (= more than a bargain).

- The word ‘many’ is used with uncountable nouns

e.g. many water / milk

- The word ‘first’ is often used in the meaning of ‘the next’:

e.g. The first time I gang to the smiddie I’ll give it to him.

Will you come Monday first or Monday eight days?

3.5 Pronouns.

- The forms of the nominative case are often used instead of the forms of the objective case and vice versa:

e.g. Oi don’t think much o’ they (= of them).

Oi went out a-walkin wi’ she (= with her).

Oi giv ut t’ he (= it) back again.

Us (= we) don’t want t’ play wi’ he (= him).

Har (= she) oon’t speak t’ th’ loikes o’ we (= us).

When us (= we) is busy, him (= he) comes and does a day’s work for we (= us).

- The pronoun ‘mun’ (‘min’) is used in those cases, when in the literary language ‘them’ is used:

e.g. put mun in the house

gie mun to me

I mind (= remember) the first time I seed mun.

- ‘Mun’ is also used instead of ‘him’, ‘it’

e.g. let min alone

it would sarve un right if I telled the parson of mun

- Instead of ‘those’, ‘them’ is used:

e.g. I mind none of them things.

Give us them apples.

Fetch them plaates off o’ th’ pantry shelf.

- In the south-western dialects at the beginning of the sentenu the personal and impersonal pronouns are often dropped.

- “Whom” is never used in the south-western dialects. Instead of it ‘as’ / ‘at’ is used:

e.g. That’s the chap as (or what) his uncle was hanged.

The man’ at his coat’s torn.

- The nominative case of the personal pronouns is also used before ‘selves’:

e.g. we selves (Somerseshire, Devonshire)

- The standard demonstrative pronoun ‘this’ is used in the south-western dialects as: ‘this’, ‘this here’, ‘thease’, ‘thisn’, ‘thisna’.

- The standard demonstrative pronoun ‘that’ is used in the south-western dialects as: ‘thatn’, ‘thickumy’, ‘thilk’:

e.g. I suppose I could have told thee thilk.

- ‘Those’ is never used in the south-western dialects.

“thir’ ans” is used instead of it.

3.5.1 Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns in a Devonshire dialect.

I’d like to give not only the grammatical description of adjectives and pronouns in the south-western part of England, but the pronunciation of demonstrative adjectives and pronouns found in the dialect of south zeal, a village on the northern edge of Dartmoor. Martin Harris made his research work in this field:

“The analysis is based on a corpus of some twenty hours of tape-recorded conversation, collected in the course of work for a Ph.D. thesis, either in the form of a dialogue between two informants or of a monologue on the part of a single inform­ant. The principal informant, Mr George Cooper, has lived for some eighty-five years in the parish, and has only spent one night in his life outside the county of Devon.

For the purposes of this chapter, only one phonological point needs to be made. The /r/ phoneme is retroflex in final position, and induces a preceding weak central vowel [∂] when occurring in the environment /Vr/, (thus [V∂r]), when the /V/ in question is /i:/ or /ε/. (These are the only two vowels relevant within this work.). The transcription used for the actual forms should not give rise to any further problems. In the case of the illustrative ex­amples, 1 have decided to use a quasi-orthographical representation, since the actual phonetic/phonemic realization is not directly relevant to the point under discussion. The prominent syllable(s) in each example are illustrated thus: “.

We may now proceed to look at the actual forms found in the dialect (Table 1):

Singular adjective






First compound

/ði:z/ ji:r/

/ðis ji:r/

/ðat ðεr/

/ði-ki: ðεr/

Singular pronoun





/ ði-ki:/

First compound

/ðis ji:r/

/ðat ðεr/

Second compound

/ðis ji:r ji:r/

/ðat ðεr ðεr/

Plural adjective






First compound

/ðejz ji:r/

/ðej ðεr/

/ði-ki: ðεr/

Plural pronoun

Simple (only)


The relative frequency of these forms is shown in Table 2.














/ði:z ji:r/


/ðejz ji:r/


/ðis ji:r/


/ði:z ji:r/






/ðat ðεr/


/ðej ðεr/






/ði-ki: ðεr/


/ði-ki: ðεr/













/ðis ji:r/


/ðis ji:r ji:r/






/ðat ðεr/


/ðat ðεr ðεr/





The paradigm as outlined in Tables 1, 2 presents few mor­phological problems. The two pairs of forms /ði:z/ and /ðis/ and /ðejz/ and /ði:z/ do, however, need examination. In the singular of the adjective, the two forms /ði:z/ and /ðis/ are both frequent, being used mostly in unstressed and stressed position respectively. However, some 30 per cent of the occurrences of each form do not follow this tendency, so it does not seem profitable to set up a stressed: unstressed opposition, particularly since such a division would serve no purpose in the case of /ðat/ and /ði-ki:/. With the ‘first compounds’, the form /ði:z ji:r/ outnumbers /ðis ji:r/ in the ratio 1 in the adjective position.

When functioning as a pronoun, /ði:z/ is rare as a simple form and never occurs at all either within a first compound (although ‘first compounds’ are so rare as pronouns that no generalization can usefully be made, see Table 2) or within a ‘second compound’, where only /ðis ji:r ji:r/, never /ði:z ji:r ji:r/, is found. Thus /ðis/ seems to be more favoured as a pronoun, and /ði:z/ as an adjective; this, of course, is only a tendency.

In the plural, the position is more clear-cut. The normal adjec­tive plurals are /ðejz/ and /ðejz ji:r/, which outnumber /ði:z/ and /ði:z ji:r/ by a large margin (see Table 2). Such cases of the latter as do occur may perhaps be ascribed to Standard English influence, since /ði:z/ is clearly used normally as a singular rather than a plural form. The absence of any reflex of /ðejz/ as a plural pronoun is discussed below.

The other forms present little morphological difficulty. There is only one occurrence of /ði-ki:/ as a pronoun, although as an adjective it almost outnumbers /ði:z/ and /ðat/ together, so it seems to belong primarily to the adjectival system. The normal singular pronouns are either the simple forms or the ‘second compounds’, the ‘first compounds’ being most unusual.

In the plural of the adjective, the simple forms are much more frequent than their equivalent ‘first compounds’, whereas in the plural of the pronoun, there is apparently only the one form /ðej/. The status of this form is discussed below.

The following are examples of those demonstatives which are not further discussed below. The uses of /ðat/ as a singular adjec­tive, of /ði-ki:/ as a singular or plural adjective, and of all the pronouns are fully exemplified in the syntactic section, and thus no examples are given here.


I come down “here to live in this little old “street.

Well; “this year, I done a bit “lighter.

Now “this season, tis “over.

This was coming “this way.

/ðis ji:r/

There’s all this here sort of “jobs going on to “day.

I was down “there where this here “plough was up “here.

I ð ejzl

These places be alright if you know where you’m “going to.

They got to pay the “wages to these people.

I do a bit of “gardening . . . and likes of all these things.

/ ð ej/

What makes all they “hills look so well?

Where “Jim was sent to, they two “met.

“They won’t have all they sort of people up there.

Tell “Cooper to “shift “they “stones “there.

We may now turn to the functions of those forms whose uses are identifiably different from those of Standard English.

The most striking feature of the demonstrative system is that, in the singular adjective system at least, there is apparently a three-term opposition /ði:z : ðat : ði-ki:/, in contrast with the two-term system of Standard English. It seems fair to say that the role of /ði:z/ is similar to that of 'this' in Standard English (but see note on /ði:z ji:r/ below), but any attempt to differentiate /ðat/ and /ði-ki:/ proves extremely difficult. There are a number of sen­tences of the type:

If you was to put “that stick in across “thicky pony . . .

where the two forms seem to fill the same function. The virtual absence of /ði-ki:/ from the pronoun system, together with the fact that /ði-ki:/ is three times as frequent as /ðat/ as an adjective, would suggest that /ði-ki:/ is the normal adjectival form in the dialect, and that / ðat/ has a greater range, having a function which is basically pronominal but in addition adjectival at times. This is further supported by the fact that when presented with sentences of the type:

He turned that “hare “three “times and “he caught it.

the informant claimed that /ði-ki:/ would be equally acceptable and could indicate no distinction. Thus there are pairs of sent­ences such as

I used to walk that there two mile and “half.

You'd walk thicky “nine mile.

or again

That finished “that job.

I wouldn’t have “thicky job.

There are certain cases where either one form or the other seems to be required. In particular, /ðat/ is used when actually indicating a size with the hands:

Go up and see the stones “that length, “that thickness.

while /ði-ki:/ is used in contrast with /t∂-ðr/, where Standard English would normally use ‘one’ or ‘the one’.

Soon as they got it “thicky hand, they’d thruck(?) it away with the “tother.

In the adjective plural, the contrast between /ði-ki:/ and /ðej/ is not a real one, since /ði-ki:/ is found only with numerals.

I had thicky “eighteen “bob a “week.

I expect thicky “nine was all “one “man’s sheep.

When presented with /ði-ki:/ before plural nominals, the in­formant rejected them. It would therefore be preferable to redefine ‘singular’ and ‘plural’ in the dialect to account for this, rather than to consider /ði-ki:/ as a plural form; this would ac­cordingly neutralize in the plural any /ði-ki:/:/ðat/ opposition which may exist in the singular.

In the pronominal system, there is only one occurrence of /ði-ki:/:

My missis bought “thicky before her “died (a radio).

It is true that most of the occurrences of /ðal/ as a pronoun do not refer to a specific antecedent, e.g. I can’t afford to do “that, but there are a number of cases where /ðat/ does play a role closely parallel to /ði-ki:/ above.

As “I was passing “that, and “that was passing “me (a dog).

As there are no other examples of /ði-ki:/ as a singular pronoun, either simply or as part of a ‘first’ or ‘second compound’, and no cases at all in the plural, it seems fair to say that any /ðat/:/ði-ki:/ opposition is realized only in the singular adjective, and that here too it is difficult to see what the basis of any opposition might be. A list of representative examples of /ðat/, /ðat ðεr/, /ði-ki:/ and /ði-ki: ðεr/ is given below, in their function as singular adjectives, so that they can easily be com­pared.

/ ð at/

All they got to “do is steer that little “wheel a bit.

You’d put in “dynamite to blast that stone “off.

Us’d go “in that pub and have a pint of “beer.

/ ðat ðεr/

I used to walk that there “two mile and “half.

Good as “gold, that there “thing was.

/ ði-ki:/

All of us be in “thicky boat, you see.

‘Thicky “dog’, he said, ‘been there all “day?’

Stairs went up “there, like, “thicky side, “thicky end of the wall.

Thicky place would be “black with people . . .

I travelled thicky old road “four “ year . . .

What’s “thicky “little “place called, before you get up “Yelverton?

Thicky field, they’d “break it, they called it.

He was going to put me and Jan “up thicky night.

“Never been through thicky road “ since.

/ ð i-ki: ð εr/

Jim Connell carted home thicky there jar of “cyder same as he carted it “up.

We got in thicky there “field . . .

The morphological status of /ði:z/ and /ðis/ as singulars, and of /ðejz/ and /ði:z/ as plurals has already been discussed. Syntacti­cally, their use seems to correspond to Standard English closely, except in one important respect: the ‘first compound’ forms are used in a way similar to a non-standard usage which is fairly widespread, in the sense of ‘a’ or ‘a certain’.

/ ð i:z ji:r/

He’d got this here “dog.

You’d put this here great “crust on top.

The ‘first compound’ is never used as an equivalent to Standard English ‘this’, being reserved for uses of the type above, although there is another form /ði:z . . . ji:r/, which is occasionally used where Standard English would show ‘this’, eg Between here and this village “here like.

In the plural, an exactly parallel syntactic division occurs be­tween /ðejz/ (cf Standard English ‘these’) and /ðejz ji:r/.

These here “maidens that was here . . .

I used to put them in front of these here “sheds.

They got these here “hay-turners . . .

In all the above examples, the ‘first compounds’, both singular and plural, refer to items which have not been mentioned before, and which are not adjacent to the speaker; they are thus referentially distinct from the normal use of Standard English ‘this’.

Although we can fairly say that /ði:z/ and /ðejz/ are syntac­tically distinct from their equivalent first compounds, what of the other adjective compounds /ðat ðεr/, /ði-ki: ðεr/ and /ðej ðεr/? There seems to be no syntactic division in these cases between them and their equivalent simple forms, so it is perhaps not surprising that Table 2 shows them to be without exception much less common than /ði:z ji:r/ and /ðejz ji:r/, which have a distinct syntactic role. Forms such as

Us got in thicky there “field


Good as “gold, that there “thing was.

do not seem any different from

Us “mowed thicky little plat . . .


He turned that “hare “three “times . . .

There is certainly no apparent correlation with any notional de­gree of emphasis.

In the case of the singular pronouns, the ‘first compounds’ are extremely rare, cf.

He done “well with that there. (/ðat ðεr/)

He went out “broad, this here what’s “dead now. (/ði:z ji:r/).

The basic opposition here is between the simple forms and the ‘second compounds’ /ðis ji:r ji:r/ and /ðat ðεr ðεr/. Here the syntactic division is fairly clear: the second compounds are used in certain adverbial phrases, particularly after ‘like’, where the demonstrative refers to no specific antecedent:

Tis getting like this here “here.

I’ve had to walk home “after that there there.

and also, with reference to a specific antecedent, when particular emphasis is drawn to the item in question.

I’ve had the “wireless there, this here “here, for “good many years.

One of these here “crocks, something like that there “there.

In all other cases, the simple forms are used.

“This was coming “this way.

Then he did meet with “this.

That’s “one “bad “job, “that was.

/ ðat/ is used particularly frequently in two phrases, ‘likes of that and ‘and that’.

He doed a bit of “farmering and likes of “that.

I got a “jumper and that home “now.

The last question is one of the most interesting. Is there really only one form /ðej/ functioning as a plural pronoun? At first sight, this would seem improbable, given that there is a plural adjective form /ðejz/ and that the 'this':'that' opposition is main­tained elsewhere in the system. However, all attempts to elicit such a form failed, and there is at least one spontaneous utterance where, if a form /ðejz/ did exist as a pronoun, it might be ex­pected to appear:

There’s “thousands of acres out there would grow it better than they in “here grow it.

Taking all these factors together, we tentatively suggest that the opposition ‘this’:’that’ is neutralized in this position, even though this seems rather unlikely, given the adjectival system.

But there is another point. It is in fact difficult to identify oc­currences of /ðej/ as demonstratives with any certainty, because the form is identical with that of the personal pronoun /ðej/ (Stan­dard English ‘they’ or ‘them’).

We may observe at this point that in the dialect, the third plural personal pronoun forms are /ðej/ and /∂m/. The first form is used in all stressed positions and as unstressed subject except in in­verted Q-forms; the second is used as the unstressed non-subject, and as the unstressed subject in inverted Q-forms. Thus we find:

/ ð ej/

“I had to show the pony but “they winned the cups.

I could chuck “they about.

That’s up to “they, they know what they’m a”bout of.

They’d take ‘em back of your “door for half-a-crown.


They expect to have a “name to the house, “don’t ‘em?

Where do ‘em get the “tools to?

That was as far as “ever they paid ‘em.

I stayed there “long with ‘em for more than a “year.

When considering /ðej/, we find a series of utterances such as the following in which a division between personal and demonstrative pronouns would be largely arbitrary.

I could “throw ‘em. chuck “they about.

“They in “towns, they go to concerts,

Us finished up with “they in ...

They do seven acres a “day, now, with “they.

There is “they that take an “interest in it.

I could cut in so straight (as) some of “they that “never do it.

Although, following the system of Standard English, we have so far differentiated between /ðej/ as a stressed personal pronoun and /ðej/ as a demonstrative pronoun, it is clearly more econom­ical, in terms of the dialectal material, to consider the two functions as coalescing within one system: STRESSED /ðej/; UN­STRESSED /∂m/. This system would operate in all positions where Standard English would show either a third person plural personal pronoun, or a plural demonstrative pronoun. Similarly, there is a dialectal system STRESSED /ðat/ UNSTRESSED /it/ in the third person singular, where the referent is abstract or non-specific, in that /ðat/ never occurs unstressed nor /it/ stressed. Thus in contrast to the last example above, we find:

I seed some of ‘em that never walked a “mile in their “lives,

where the form /∂m/ is unstressed. (Such unstressed examples are much rarer than stressed examples in positions where Standard English would show a demonstrative pronoun simply because ‘those’ is normally stressed in Standard English.)

We should note finally, however, that this analysis of the material does not in any way explain the absence of a plural pronoun /ðejz/, any more than the linking of /ðat/ with /it/ precludes the existence of a singular demonstrative pronoun /ði:z/. The non-existence of /ðejz/ as a pronoun seems best con­sidered as an accidental gap in the corpus.” (№18, p.20 )

3.6 Verbs.

- In the south-western dialects in the singular and in the plural in Present Indefinite the ending ‘-s’ or ‘-es’ is used, if the Subject is expressed as

a noun.

e.g. Boys as wants more mun ask.

The other ehaps works hard.

- In Devonshire ‘-th’ [ð] is added to verbs in the plural in Present Indefinite.

- The form ‘am’ (’m) of the verb ‘to be’ is used after the personal pronouns:

e.g. We (wem = we are) (Somersetshire)

you, they

- After the words ‘if’, ‘when’, ‘until’, ‘after’ Future Indefinite sometimes used.

- The Perfect form in affirmative sentences, in which the Subject is expressed as a personal pronoun, is usually built without the auxiliary verb ‘have’:

e.g. We done it.

I seen him.

They been and taken it.

- The negation in the south-western dialects is expressed with the adding of the negative particle ‘not’ in the form ‘-na’ to the verb.

e.g. comesna (comes not)

winna (= will not)

sanna (= shall not)

canna (= cannot)

maunna (= must not)

sudna (= should not)

dinna (= do not)

binna (= be not)

haena (= have not)

daurna (= dare not)

- It is typical to the south-western dialects to use too many nigotiations in the same phrase:

e.g. I yin’t seen nobody nowheres.

I don’t want to have nothing at all to say to you.

I didn’t mean no harm.

Ye’ll better jist nae detain me nae langer.

- The negative and interrogative forms of the modal verbs are built with the help of the auxiliary verb ‘do’.

e.g. He did not ought to do it.

You do not ought to hear it.

- Some verbs which are regular in the Standard language become irregular in the south-western dialects:

e.g. dive - dave, help - holp

- Sometimes the ending ‘-ed’ is added to some irregular verbs in the Past Simple:

e.g. bear - borned, begin - begunned, break - broked, climb - clombed,

dig - dugged, dive - doved, drive - droved, fall - felled, find -

funded, fly - flewed, give - gaved, grip - grapped, hang - hunged,

help - holped, hold - helded, know - knewed, rise - rosed, see -

sawed, shake - shooked, shear - shored, sing - sunged, sink -

sunked, spin - spunned, spring - sprunged, steal - stoled, strive -

stroved, swear - swored, swim - swammed, take - tooked, tear -

tored, wear - wored, weave - woved, write - wroted.

- But some irregular verbs in the Past Simple Tense are used as regular:

e.g. begin - beginned (Western Som., Dev.)

bite - bited (W. Som.)

blow - blowed (Dev.)

drink - drinked (W. Som.)

drive - drived (Dev.)

fall - falled (W. Som., Dev.)

fight - fighted (W. Som.)

fall - falled (Som., Dev.)

go - gade (Dev.)

grow - growed (W. Som.)

hang - hanged (W. Som.)

lose - losed (W. Som., Dev.)

ring - ringed (W. Som.)

speak - speaked (Som.)

spring - springed (W. Som., Dev.)

- Many verbs form the Past Participle with the help of the ending ‘-n’.

e.g. call - callen

catch - catchen

come - comen

- In some cases in the Past Participle a vowel in the root is changed, and the suffix is not added.

e.g. catch - [k t∫]

hit - [a:t]

lead - [la:d]

- In the south-western dialects intransitive verbs have the ending ‘-y’ [ı].

- In Western Somersetshire before the infinitive in the function of the adverbial modifier of purpose ‘for’ is used:

e.g. Hast gotten a bit for mend it with? (= Have you got anything to mend it with?)

3.7 Adverbs.

- In the south-western dialects an adjective is used instead of the adverb.

e.g. You might easy fall.

- To build the comparative degree ‘far’ is used instead of ‘further’; ‘laster’ instead of ‘more lately’.

- The suparative degree: ‘farest’; ‘lastest’; ‘likerest’; ‘rathest’.

a) The adverbs of place:

abeigh [∂bıx] - ‘at some distance’

abune, aboon - ‘above’

ablow - ‘under’

ben, benn - ‘inside’

outbye [utbaı] - ‘outside’

aboot - ‘around’

hine, hine awa - ‘far’

ewest - ‘near’

b) The adverbs of the mode of action:

hoo, foo - ‘how’

weel - ‘great’

richt - ‘right’

ither - ‘yet’

sae - ‘so’

c) The adverbs of degree:


e.g. How are you today? - Not much, thank you.

‘much’ is also used in the meaning of ‘wonderfully’

e.g. It is much you boys can’t let alone they there ducks.

It was much he hadn’t a been a killed.


‘rising’ is often used in the meaning of ‘nearly’

e.g. How old is the boy? - He’s rising five.

- ‘fell’, ‘unco’, ‘gey’, ‘huge’, ‘fu’, ‘rael’ are used in the meaning of ‘very’.

- ower, owre [aur] - ‘too’

- maist - ‘nearly’

- clean - ‘at all’

- that - ‘so’

- feckly - ‘in many cases’

- freely - ‘fully’

- naarhan, nighhan - ‘nearly’

- han, fair - ‘at all’

d) Adverbs of time:

whan, fan - ‘when’

belive, belyve - ‘now’

yinst - ‘at once’

neist - ‘then’

fernyear - ‘last year’

afore (= before)

e.g. Us can wait avore you be ready, sir.

next - ‘in some time’

e.g. next day = the day after tomorrow

while = till, if

e.g. You’ll never make any progress while you listen to me.

You have to wait while Saturday.

3.8 Transitivity and intransivity in the dialects of South-West England.

One of the most important aspects of studying south-western English is dialect syntax. So, the article by Jean-Marc Gachelin can give us much information about transitivity and intransitivity in the dialects of South-West England.

“Wakelin has pointed out that ‘syntax is an unwieldy subject which dialectologists have fought shy of’. This brushing aside of dialect syntax is regrettable because the study of gram­matical variation can shed light on the workings of any language, and thereby enrich general linguistics. The present chapter deals with an area of dialect syntax - transitivity in south-west of England dialects - and attempts to characterize and explain, synchronically and diachronically, its salient features.

We prefer the moderation of Kilby, who simply admits that the notion of direct object (DO) ‘is not at all transparent in its usage’. The problem, therefore, should be not so much to discard but rather to improve our notions of transitivity and intransitivity. In this regard, the dialects of South-west England are important and interesting.

1. A description of transitivity and intransitivity in the dialects of South-west England.

When compared with the corresponding standard language, any geographical variety may be characterized by three possibilities:

(a) identity; (b) archaism (due to slower evolution); and (c) in­novation. Interestingly enough, it is not uncommon in syntax for (b) and (c) to combine if a given dialect draws extensively on a secondary aspect of an older usage. This is true of two features which are highly characteristic of the South-west and completely absent in contemporary Standard English.

1.1 Infinitive + y

One of these characteristics is mentioned by Wakelin, the optional addition of the -y ending to the infinitive of any real intransitive verb or any transitive verb not fol­lowed by a DO, namely object-deleting verbs (ODVs) and ergatives. The use of this ending is not highlighted in the Survey of English Dialects (SED, Orton and Wakelin). It is only indirectly, when reading about relative pronouns, that we come upon There iddn (= isn’t) many (who) can sheary now, recorded in Devon (Orton and Wakelin). However, Widen gives the following examples heard in Dorset: farmy, flickery, hoopy (‘to call’), hidy, milky, panky (‘to pant’), rooty (talking of a pig), whiny. Three of these verbs are strictly intransitive (ftickery, panky, whiny), the others being ODVs. Wright also mentions this characteristic, chiefly in connection with Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

In the last century, Barnes made use of the -y ending in his Dorset poems, both when the infinitive appears after to:

reäky = ‘rake’


drashy = ‘thresh’


and after a modal (as in the example from the SED):

Mid (= may) happy housen smoky round/The church.

The cat veil zick an’ woulden mousy .

But infin.+y can also be found after do (auxiliary), which in South-west dialects is more than a more ‘signal of verbality’, serving as a tense-marker as well as a person-marker (do everywhere except for dost, 2nd pers. sing.). Instead of being emphatic, this do can express the progressive aspect or more often the durative-habitual (= imperfective) aspect, exactly like the imperfect of Romance languages. Here are a few examples culled from Barnes’s poems:

Our merry sheäpes did jumpy.

When I do pitchy, ‘tis my pride (meaning of the verb, cf pitch-fork).

How gaÿ the paths be where we do strolly.

Besides ODVs and intransitive verbs, there is also an ergative:

doors did slammy .

In the imperative, infin. -y only appears with a negative:

don’t sobby!

The optional use of the -y ending is an advantage in dialect poetry for metre or rhyme:

Vor thine wull peck, an’ mine wull grubby (rhyming with snubby)

And this ending probably accounts for a phonetic peculiarity of South-west dialects, namely the apocope of to arguy (the former dialect pronunciation of to argue), to carry and to empty, reduced to to arg, to car and to empt.

In the grammatical part of his Glossary of the Dorset Dialect, Barnes insists on the aspectual connection between do and infin.+y:

“Belonging to this use of the free infinitive y-ended verbs, is another kindred one, the showing of a repetition or habit of doing as ‘How the dog do jumpy’, i-e keep jumping. ‘The child do like to whippy’, amuse himself with whipping. ‘Idle chap, he’ll do nothen but vishy, (spend his time in fishing), if you do leâve en alwone’. ‘He do markety’, he usually attends market.”

Barnes also quotes a work by Jennings in which this South-west feature was also described:

“Another peculiarity is that of attaching to many of the common verbs in the infinitive mode as well as to some other parts of different con­jugations, the letter -y. Thus it is very common to say ‘I can’t sewy’, I can’t nursy’, ‘he can’t reapy’, ‘he can’t sawy’, as well as ‘to sewy, to nursy, to reapy, to sawy’, etc; but never, I think, without an auxiliary verb, or the sign of the infinitive to.”

Barnes claimed, too, that the collocation of infin. +y and the DO was unthinkable: We may say, “Can ye zewy ?” but never “Wull ye zewy up theäse zêam?” “Wull ye zew up theäse zêam” would be good Dorset.”

Elworthy also mentions the opposition heard in Som­erset between I do dig the garden and Every day, I do diggy for three hours (quoted by Jespersen and by Rogers). Concerning the so-called ‘free infinitive’, Wiltshire-born Rogers comments that it is little heard now, but was common in the last century’, which tallies with the lack of examples in the SED. (This point is also confirmed by Itialainen) Rogers is quite surprised to read of a science-fiction play (BBC, 15 March 1978) entitled ‘Stargazy in Zummerland’, describing a future world in which the popu­lation was divided between industrial and agricultural workers, the latter probably using some form of south-western speech, fol­lowing a time-honoured stage tradition already perceptible in King Lear (disguised as a rustic, Edgar speaks broad Somerset).

To sum up, after to, do (auxiliary), or a modal, the formula of the ‘free infinitive’ is

intr. V → infin. + -y/0

where ‘intr.’ implies genuine intransitives, ODVs and even ergatives. As a dialect-marker, -y is now on the wane, being gradually replaced by 0 due to contact with Standard English.

1.2 Of + DO

The other typical feature of south-western dialects is not mentioned by Wakelin, although it stands out much more clearly in the SED data. This is the optional use of o’/ov (occasionally on) between a transitive verb and its DO. Here are some of the many examples. Stripping the feathers off a dead chicken (Orton and Wakelin) is called:

pickin/pluckin ov it (Brk-loc. 3);

trippin o’ en (= it) (D-loc. 6);

pickin o’ en (Do-loc. 3);

pluckin(g) on en - (W-loc. 9; Sx-loc. 2).

Catching fish, especially trout, with one’s hand (Orton and Wakelin) is called:

ticklin o’/ov em (= them) (So-loc. 13; W-loc. 2, 8; D-loc. 2, 7, 8; Do-loc. 2-5; Ha-loc. 4);

gropin o’/ov em (D-loc. 4, 6);

ticklin on em (W-loc. 3, 4; Ha-loc. 6; Sx-loc. 3);

tickle o’ em (Do-loc. l) (note the absence of -in(g)).

The confusion between of and on is frequent in dialects, but although on may occur where of is expected, the reverse is im­possible. The occasional use of on instead of of is therefore unimportant. What really matters is the occurrence of of, o’ or ov between a transitive verb and the DO. The presence of the -in(g) ending should also attract our attention: it occurs in all the examples except tickle o’ em , which is exceptional since, when the SED informants used an infinitive in their answers, their syn­tax was usually identical with that of Standard English, ie without of occurring before the DO: glad to see you, (he wants to) hide it (Orton and Wakelin).

Following Jespersen, Lyons makes a distinc­tion between real transitives (/ hit you: action → goal) and verbs which are only syntactically transitives (/ hear you: goal ← ac­tion). It is a pity that the way informants were asked questions for the SED (‘What do we do with them? - Our eyes/ears’) does not enable us to treat the transitive verbs see Orton and Wakelin and hear (Orton and Wakelin) other than as ODVs.

The use of of as an operator between a transitive verb and its DO was strangely enough never described by Barnes, and is casually dismissed as an ‘otiose of’ by the authors of the SED, even though nothing can really be ‘otiose’ in any language sys­tem. Rogers points out that ‘Much more widely found formerly, it is now confined to sentences where the pronouns en, it and em are the objects.’ This is obvious in the SED materials, as, incidentally, it is in these lines by Barnes:

To work all day a-meäken haÿ/Or pitchen o’t.

Nevertheless, even if his usage is in conformity with present syn­tax, it is important to add that, when Barnes was alive, o/ov could precede any DO (a-meäken ov haÿ would equally have been pos­sible). What should also be noted in his poetry is the extremely rare occurrence of o’/ov after a transitive verb with no -en (= -ing) ending, which, as we just saw, is still very rare in modern speech:

Zoo I don’t mind o’ leäven it to-morrow.

Zoo I don’t mind o’ leäven o’t to-morrow.

The second line shows a twofold occurrence of o’ after two tran­sitive verbs, one with and one without -en.

This -en ending can be a marker of a verbal noun, a gerund or a present participle (as part of a progressive aspect form or on its own), and o’ may follow in each case.


My own a-decken ov my own (‘my own way of dressing my darling’).

This is the same usage as in Standard English he doesn’t like my driving of his car.


That wer vor hetten o’n (‘that was for hitting him’).

. . . little chance/O’ catchen o’n.

I be never the better vor zee-en o’ you.

The addition of o’ to a gerund is optional: Vor grinden any corn vor bread is similar to Standard English.


As I wer readen ov a stwone (about a headstone).

Rogers gives two examples of the progressive aspect:

I be stackin’ on ‘em up.

I were a-peeling of the potatoes (with a different spelling).


To vind me stannen in the cwold, / A-keepen up o’ Chris’mas.

After any present participle, the use of o’ is also optional:

Where vo’k be out a-meäken haÿ.

The general formula is thus:

trans. V → V + o’ /0

which can also be read as

MV (main verb) → trans. V + o’ /0 + DO.

Here, o’ stands for o’ (the most common form), ov and even on. In modem usage, the DO, which could be a noun or noun phrase in Barnes’s day and age, appears from the SED materials to be restricted to personal pronouns. For modern dialects, the formula thus reads:

MV → trans. V + o’ /0 + pers. pron.

The o’ is here a transitivity operator which, exactly like an ac­cusative ending in a language with case declensions, disappears in the passive. Consequently, the phenomenon under discussion here has to be distinguished from that of prepositional verbs, which require the retention of the preposition in the passive:

We have thought of all the possible snags. →

All the possible snags have been thought of .

The use of o’ as a transitivity operator in active declaratives is also optional, which represents another basic difference from prepositional verbs.

Exactly the same opposition, interestingly enough, applies in south-western dialects also:

[1] He is (a-) eäten o’ ceäkes → What is he (a-) eäten?

[2] He is (a-) dreämen o’ceäkesWhat is he (a-) dreämen ov ?

What remains a preposition in [1] and [2] works as the link between a transitive verb and its DO. The compulsory deletion of the operator o’ in questions relating to the DO demonstrates the importance here of the word order (V + o’ + DO), as does also the similar trig­gering of deletion by passives.

Though now used in a more restricted way, ie before personal pronouns only, this syntactic feature is better preserved in the modern dialects than the

-y ending of intransitive verbs, but, in so far as it is only optional, it is easy to detect the growing in­fluence of Standard English.

2. Diachrony as an explanation of these features.

Although the above description has not been purely synchronic, since it cites differences in usage between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it is actually only by looking back at even earlier stages of the language that we can gain any clear insights into why the dialects have developed in this way.

Both Widen and Wakelin remind us that the originally strictly morphological -y ending has since developed into a syntactic feature. It is a survival of the Middle English infinitive ending -ie(n), traceable to the -ian suffix of the second class of Old English weak verbs (OE milcian → ME milkie(n) → south-west dial. milky). Subsequently, -y has been analogically extended to other types of verbs in south-west dialects under certain syntactic conditions: in the absence of any DO, through sheer impossibility (intransitive verb) or due to the speaker’s choice (ODV or ergative). The only survival of medieval usage is the impossibility of a verb form like milky being anything other than an infinitive. Note that this cannot be labelled an archaism, since the standard language has never demonstrated this particular syntactic specialization.

So far no explanation seems to have been advanced for the origin of ‘otiose of’, and yet it is fairly easy to resort to diachrony in order to explain this syntactic feature. Let us start, however, with contemporary Standard English:

[3] They sat, singing a shanty. (present participle on its own)

[4] They are singing a shanty. (progressive aspect)

[5] I like them/their singing a shanty. (gerund)

[6] I like their singing of a shanty. (verbal noun)

Here [5] and [6] are considered nominalizations from a synchronic point of view. As far as [4] is concerned, Barnes reminds his readers that the OE nominalization ic waes on hunlunge (‘I was in the process of hunting’, cf Aelfric’s Colloquim: fui in. venatione) is the source of modern / was hunting, via an older structure I was (a-) hunting which is preserved in many dialects, the optional verbal prefix a- being what remains of the preposition on .

The nominal nature of V-ing is still well established in the ver­bal noun (with the use of of in particular), and it is here that the starting-point of a chain reaction lies. Hybrid structures (verbal nouns/gerunds) appeared as early as Middle English, as in

bi puttyng forth of whom so it were (1386 Petition of Mercers)

and similar gerunds followed by of were still a possibility in Elizabethan English:

Rend not my heart for naming of my Christ (Marlowe, Doctor Faustus)

together with verbal nouns not followed by any of:

... as the putting him clean out of his humour (B. Jonson, Every Man out of his Humour).

Having been extended from the verbal noun to the gerund, of also eventually spread to the progressive aspect in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, at a time when the V-ing + of se­quence became very widespread in Standard English:

Are you crossing of yourself? (Marlowe, Doctor Faustus).

He is hearing of a cause (Shakespeare, Measure for Measure).

She is taking of her last farewell (Bunyan, The Pilgim’s Progress).

However, what is definitely an archaism in Standard English has been preserved in south-western dialects, which have gone even further and also added an optional o’ to the present par­ticiple used on its own (ie other than in the progressive aspect). Moreover, there is even a tendency, as we have seen, to use o’ after a transitive verb without the -en (= -ing) ending. This tendency, which remains slight, represents the ultimate point of a chain reaction that can be portrayed as follows:

Use of o’ in the environment following:

(A) (B) (C) (D)

Regional variation of pronunciation in the south-west of Englandverbal noun → gerund → be + V-ing pres. part. → V


(A) evolution from Middle English to the Renaissance;

(B) evolution typical of English in the sixteenth and seven­teenth centuries;

(C) evolution typical of south-western dialects;

(D) marginal tendency in south-western dialects.

The dialect usage is more than a mere syntactic archaism: not only have the south-western dialects preserved stages (A) and (B); they are also highly innovative in stages (C) and (D).” (№18, p.218)

4. Vocabulary.

Devonshire (Dev)

Somersetshire (Som)

Wiltshire (Wil)

Cornwall (Cor)


Abroad - adj растерянный, незнающий, как поступить; попавший впросак, совершивший ошибку; разваренный, расплавленный (о пище): The potatoes are abroad. The sugar is gone abroad.

Addle, Udall, Odal (Dev) - v зарабатывать, сберегать, откладывать, экономить; (о растениях) расти, расцветать [gu. oðla, возвр. oðlask - приобретать (имущество), oðal - имущество]

Ail (Wil, Dev) - n ость (колоса)

Aller (Dev) - n нарыв, карбункул; тяжелый ожог: Suke died acause her aller wanted letting.

Answer (Som) - v выносить, переносить (те или иные условия, определенные события); выжить: That there poplar ’ont never answer out of doors, t’ll be a ratted in no time ; ~ to : реагировать на что-либо, поддаваться воздействию чего-либо: Clay land easily answers to bones.

Any (повсеместно) - adj , adv , pron : any bit like - хороший, сносный, приличный (о здоровье, погоде, поведении): I’ll come and see thee tomorrow if it’s only any-bit-like ; any more than - только; если бы: He’s sure to come any more than he might be a bit late. I should be sure to go to school any more than I’ve not got a gownd to my back.

Attle (Cor) - n мусор, отбросы


Bach, Batch, Bage (Som) - n река, ручей; долина, через которую протекает ручей; овраг; насыпь или холм, находящиеся вблизи реки

Bad (Wil) - n внешняя земная оболочка ореха

Badge (Wil) - v заниматься перепродажей зерна, овощей и фруктов

Balch (Dev, Cor) - n небольшая веревка, кушак

Bam (Cor) - n шутка, проделка, номер: It’s nowt but a bam.

(Wil, Som) - n портянка, грубая материя, оборачиваемая вокруг ноги

Ban (Som) - v проклинать; ругаться

Bannock (Wil, Som, Dev) - n блин / лепешка из овсянной или ячменной муки

Barge (Dev) - n боров; v ругать, оскорблять

Barney (Som) - n ссора, перебранка; чепуха; ошибка; плохо выполненная работа, халтура

Barton (Wil, Dev, Som, Cor) - n крестьянский двор; подсобные помещения в задней части крестьянского двора; крестьянский дом

Barvel (Cor) - n короткий кожаный передник, надеваемый при мытье полов; кожаный передник рыбаков

Bate (Som, Dev) - n плохое настроение, раздраженное состояние; v ссориться, ругаться

Beagle, Bogle (Dev) - n пугало; привидение; гротескно одетый человек, «ряженый»

Beet, Boot (Cor) - v чинить, ремонтировать, помогать; удовлетворять

Besgan, Biscan, Vescan (Cor) - n кожаный напальчник; матерчатая повязка

Big (Som, Cor) - adj дружественный, близкий: Smith and Brown are very big ; v строить; vup ) утверждать, поддержать (в мнении); быть преданным, верным (человеку или идее)

Bogzom (Dev) - adj ярко-красный; румяный: Ya ha made ma chucks bugzom.

Bribe (Wil) - v приставать, издеваться; ругать, «пилить»: She terrible bribed I.

Brindled (Som) - ppl adj пестрый, полосатый

Bruick-boil (Dev) - v вянуть; становиться сухой (о погоде)

Bunt (Som, Dev, Cor) - n сито; v просеивать муку

(Wil) - n вязанка хвороста

Buss, boss (Wil, Dev, Cor) - n теленок

But (Som) - n пики (в картах)

(Cor) - v вывихнуть (сустав): I’ve butted my thumb.


Cab (Som, Dev, Cor) - n липкая масса, что-либо грязное, мокрое или липкое (adj cabby ); v воровать

Cad (Som) - n самые мелкие и молодые особи (поросят, телят и др.); pl мелкий картофель; падаль, гнилое мясо

Call (Som) - v думать, считать

Cam (Cor) - n глинистый сланец; adj изогнутый; упрямый

Casar (Dev, Cor) - n сито; v просеивать

Caw (Dev) - v дышать с трудом; n дурак

Cawk (Som) - v пороть, бить

Chack (Dev, Cor) - adj ppl chackt , chacking - испытывающий жажду; голодный

Cheap (Som) - adj фразеол. be cheap on - вполне заслуживающий чего-либо

Chill (Dev, Som) - v немного подогреть (жидкость); chilled water - теплая вода

Chilver (Wil, Som) - n ягненок

Chissom (Wil, Som, Dev) - n отросток, побег (растения); v давать отростки, побеги

Chuck (Som, Dev) - n нижняя часть лица, шея, глотка

Clib (Dev, Cor) - v прилипать; увлажнять, смачивать

Clivan, Clevant, Callyvan, Vant (Som) - n ловушка для птиц: You be like a wren in a clivan.

Clock (Som) - n жук

Coath (Som, Dev) - n болезнь печени у овец; v падать в обморок

Cob (Cor) - n плохо исполненная работа

Cold (Som, Dev, Wil, Cor) - to catch cold - попасть в беду; to cast the cold of a thing - избавиться от последствий какого-либо зла или несчастья; cold cheer - нужда; cold hand - хороший образец культуры пшеницы или ячменя; cold lady - пудинг из муки и жира

Colley (Wil) - n сажа, грязь; свежее мясо

Colt (Wil) - n оползень; v оползать (о почве)

Cooch (Coochy) (Dev, Cor) - n левша; adj неуклюжий

Cook (Som) - v убить; притаиться, спрятаться

Coose (Dev, Cor) - v сплетничать; слоняться

Cotton (Som, Dev) - v бить, пороть

Cowerd (Wil, Som) - adj парной (о молоке)

Crib (Dev, Cor) - n еда; v воровать

Crowd (Som, Dev, Cor) - n скрипка


Dain (Wil) - adj имеющий плохой запах

Dare (Wil, Som, Dev) - v отпрянуть в ужасе, бояться; прятаться; пугать

Dawk (Wil, Som) - n дыра; v протыкать; моросить (о дожде); adj беспомощный; v небрежно и неопрятно одеваться

Denshire (Wil, Dev) - v срезать дерн и сжигать его после просушки

Dey (Wil) - n женщина, занятая в молочном хозяйстве

Dool (Dev) - n пограничный столбик (на поле); ворота (в игре); гвоздь, шип для скрепления половых досок; большой кусок; v ударять (плоской поверхностью); (с off ) отмечать, устанавливать границу, межу

Downy (Som) - adj хитрый, ловкий; в плохом настроении, подавленный

Drill (Dev) - v тратить время попусту; замедлять, задерживать; заманить; заставить что-либо делать с помощью лести

Dupl (= do up ) (Wil) - v открывать; закрывать, запирать; быстро идти

Dwall (Som, Dev) - v бредить, говорить бессвязно; n легкий сон

Dwam (Dev) - n обморок; приступ болезни


Ear (Wil, Som) - v пахать землю

Easse (Wil, Som) - n земляной червь

Elt, Hilt (Som, Dev) - n молодая свинья

Eve (Wil, Dev, Cor) - v потеть, выделять влагу; таять

Evil (Dev, Cor) - n вилы для навоза; вилы; v сгребать вилами


Fadge (Som, Dev, Cor) - v подходить, быть подходящим друг для друга: They don’t fadge well together ; соглашаться; преуспевать; делать работу кое-как, спустя рукава; идти с трудом, медленно; n вид пирога; связка, сноп; определенное количество чего-либо

Fady (Dev, Cor) - adj сырой

Fage (Som) - v льстить, подлизываться; обманывать

Fain (Dev) - v просить мира (в детских играх: Fain it! «Сдаюсь!»; adj счачтливый, довольный; adv охотно; n (о мукé) плохого качества

Farewell (Wil, Som, Dev) - n привкус: The butter leaves a clammy farewell in the mouth.

Favour (Dev) - v помогать, облегчать

Fawny (Dev) - n кольцо

Feat (Wil, Dev) - adj довольно большой (по размеру или количеству); значительный; опрятный; красивый

Feer (Wil) - v пройти первую борозду при пахоте; n борозда

Fenny, Vinny (Wil) - adj покрытый плесенью

Fitten (Wil, Som) - n уловка, предлог; каприз, причуда

Flag (Wil, Dev) - n лист растения

Flaw (Dev, Cor) - n внезапный порыв ветра

Flawn, Flome (Dev) - n оладья, блин; деревенский праздник, на котором подают блины; блюдо из взбитых яиц и молока

Fleck (Som) - n пятно; царапина на коже; дефект на одежде

Flue (Wil) - adj нежный, слабый, болезненный; худой; мелкий (о сосуде); широкий, обширный

Fly (Som) - adj хитрый

Fogger (Wil) - n помощник; человек, ухаживающий за скотом, конюх

Framp (Som, Dev) - adj ( в словосочетаниях: framp-shaken ; framp-shapen ) искривленный, набекрень

Frape (Som, Dev, Cor) - v завязывать; ругать

Fur (Som, Dev, Cor) - v бросать, кидать; дергать за уши; перебиваться, сводить концы с концами: I’ve nobbut a shillin’ to fur t’week on with.

Furcom, Fircom (Wil, Som) - n суть, существо, основа какого-либо дела; pl все обстоятельства дела: I’ll tell ’ee all the fircoms on’t .


Gaff (Dev) - n крючок; дешевый театр; выступление на деревенской ярмарке; хозяин, начальник

Gale (Som, Dev, Cor) - n периодическая плата за что-либо, рента

Glam (Dev) - n рана

Gout (Cor), Gutt - n капля; сгусток чего-либо; adj Gouty - сучковатый, имеющий неровности

Graft (Cor, Dev, Som, Wil) - n овраг, углубление в земле; случайная работа

Great (Dev) - adj большой по размеру: The glass is great enough. His brother is great and strong ; дружественный, в хороших отношениях: My brother is very great with the lad ; great folks - большие друзья; adv очень: great foul , great likely, great mich, a great high wall ; сдельная работа: great-work ; work by the great


Hackle (Wil) - n одежда; шерсть животных; оперение птиц; v хорошо сидеть (об одежде)

Hag(g) (Som, Wil, Dev) - v подстрекать, провоцировать; дразнить; n лес, роща; крутая скала

Halsen (Som, Dev, Cor) - v предсказывать; предрекать неприятности

Hange (Som, Dev, Cor) - n внутренности (печень, легкие, сердце) какого-либо животного

Harl(e) (Som) - v тащить, тянуть; сгребать; медленно двигаться

Hathe (Som) - n плотная оболочка, покров; be in a hathe - быть покрытым сыпью оспы или другой болезни

Hathern (Som) - n перила: I first catched a hold o’the hathern so I jissy saved I.

Havage (Dev, Cor) - n происхождение, родословная

Hearst (Som, Dev) - n молодая самка оленя

Hile (Som) - n несколько стогов, сложенных вместе; v (о скоте) бодать; препятствовать

Hint (Wil) - v собирать, складывать;

(Som) - v вянуть, сохнуть

Ho, Hoe, How (Som) - v скучать о ком-либо; заботиться, проявлять внимание к кому-либо, ухаживать за кем-либо

Hocksy (Wil), тж. OXY - adj в виде жидкой, липкой грязи

Hog (Dev) - n куча (картофеля или других овощей), укрытая соломой и землей от мороза и дождя; бурт

Hoggan (Cor) - n пирог со свининой (тж. Fuggan, Hobban ); плод шиповника

Holiday (Cor), Holliday - n место, оставленное нетронутым при стирании пыли с чего-либо, при покраске

Hope (Som) - n впадина между холмами; долина, через которую протекает ручей, но тж.: холм; бухта

Horry, Howery (Som, Dev) - adj грязный, отвратительный; заплесневелый

Hound (Som) - n pl выступы на нижней части мачты

Hovel, Hobble (Som) - v спасать корабль, попавший в беду; помогать кораблю стать на якорь или выйти из гавани; n удача: He got a good hovel.

How (Dev) - n небольшой холмик

Hug (Som) - n чесотка; v подстрекать, заставлять (что-либо сделать)

Huss (Som) - v натравить собаку на кого-либо


Ignorant (Wil, Som) - adj невоспитанный: I thought it would look so ignorant to stop you.

Inkle (Dev, Cor) - n шнурок из грубой пряжи (для закрепления фартука, ботинок)


Jack (Cor, Dev, Som, Wil) - v оставить, бросить (работу), уйти

Jail (Cor) - v быстро идти

Jimmy (Som) - adj опрятный, аккуратный; проворный; хорошо сделанный


Keech (Wil, Som) - v затвердевать (о расплавленном жире, воске); замерзать (о воде); n большой кусок (грязи, жира)

Keeve (Som, Dev, Cor) - n большой таз

Keffel (Som) - n лошадь (обычно старая); предмет низкого качества; ленивый, глупый человек

Kemps (Som) - n короткие грубые ворсински или волоски на шерсти

Kern (Dev, Som, Cor) - v сворачиваться (о молоке); медленно вариться

Kibbit (Dev, Cor) - n чан, ведро

Kindle (Som) - v (о небольших животных, особенно кроликах) производить потомство


Lag (Cor) - v обрызгать грязью

Lammock (Cor) - n негодяй

Lart (Som, Dev) - n пол (особенно в верхней комнате или на чердаке); полка

Lashing (Dev, Cor) - n pl (тж. Lashings and Lavins ) большое количество чего-либо; adj большой, огромный

Law (Som, Dev) - n холм; насыпь; груда камней; v складывать в стога

Leap (Som) - n большая корзина

Lear (Dev, Som) - adj пустой

Let, Lat (Wil, Som, Cor) - v мешать, останавливать, не пускать; перестать; n задержка, препятствие: without let or hindrance

Letch (Som, Dev) - n сильное желание; причуда

Letting - adj (о погоде) дождливый

Lewth (Wil, Som, Dev) - n убежище; место, защищенное от ветра

Lewze, Looze (Som, Dev) - n свиной хлев

Lich (Som, Dev) - n труп

Lidden (Som, Dev, Cor) - n песня; монотонный припев

Lide (Wil, Cor) - n месяц март

Lig, Liggan (Cor) - n вид водорослей; удобрение из водорослей или сухих листьев

Linch (Dev, Cor) - v бить

Lissom (Wil, Som, Dev) - n тонкая полоска чего-либо; слой

Litten (Wil, Som) - n кладбище

Lock (Som, Dev, Cor) - n определенное количество чего-либо, обычно небольшое

Lodden (Cor) - n лужа, небольшой пруд

Log (Dev, Cor) - v колебаться, качаться

Loker (Dev) - n рубанок

Lourve, Luffer, Loover (Som) - n дымоход, печная труба

Low (Dev) - n пламя; свет


Mang (Wil, Som, Dev) - v смешивать

Maskel (Som, Dev) - n зеленая гусеница; небольшое сморщенное яблоко

Masker (Dev) - v потерять сознание: He got maskered i’the snow-storm o’the hill ; лишаться рассудка; душить, задохнуться: He coughs sometimes like as if he’d masker ; гнить; ржаветь

Maxim (Som, Dev, Cor) - n выдумка, способ действия: I’ve tried every sort o’ maxims wi’ un, but I can’t make-n grow ; pl проказы, шутки; v играть: I zeed min maximin’ about in the fiel’ .

Magzard (Som, Dev, Cor) - n сорт мелкой черной вишни

Meech (Som, Dev) - v пробираться украдкой (about ); пропустить занятия, не явиться на работу; лодырничать; попрошайничать, собирать милостыню; воровать

Meet (Dev) - adj должный, нужный, правильный

Ment (Som) - v быть похожим на кого-либо: He ment’s his father ; n сходство

Mickle (Wil) - adj , adv много

Mickled (Dev) - ppl : mickled with cold - окоченевший от холода; задыхающийся, пересохший от жары (рот, глотка)

Mock (Som, Dev, Cor) - n пень дерева (с корнями), большая палка; adv Mocking - попеременно, поочередно: I think, sir, that we had better put in them plants mocking ; v быть расположенным вперемешку: The black squares on a chess-board mock each other.

Mog(g) (Som) - v обидеться; хандрить; отказываться от пищи

Mogue (Som) - v обманывать; насмехаться

Mole (Som) - n темя; затылок

Moot (Som, Dev, Cor) - n пень; v двигать, передвигать; намекать на что-либо

Mop (Wil) - n ярмарка, на которой нанимались слуги и сельскохозяйственные рабочие; увеселительное сборище

More (Wil, Som, Dev, Cor) - n корень дерева или растения; побег; растение, цветок, кустарник; v приживаться (о растении); выкорчевывать, вырывать с корнем

Mort (Som, Dev, Cor) - n свиной жир, шпиг

Mugget (Som, Dev, Cor) - n складка на рубашке

Mungy (Cor) - adj (о погоде) душный и сырой; (о фруктах) перезрелый

Muryan (Cor) - n муравей


Nammet (Wil, Som, Dev, Cor) - n завтрак (особенно в поле); еда

Naty (Dev, Cor) - adj (о мясе) мягкий, неволокнистый, разваристый

Neck (Som, Dev, Cor) - n последний стог хлеба в поле

Neive (Dev) - n кулак, сжатая рука

Nim (Som, Dev) - v схватить; стянуть, своровать

Nitch (Wil, Som, Dev) - n вязанка (сена, соломы, дров); семья; банда

Noil (Som) - n короткая шерсть, оставшаяся после стрижки; отходы шерсти, шелка

Nool (Cor) - v бить; Nooling - n побои

Northering (Som, Dev) - ppl , adj несвязный (о речи); не в своем уме, помешанный

Not (Som, Dev) - adj гладкий, в хорошем состоянии (о поле); Notted - подстриженный


Oast, East (Dev) - n печь для сушки хмеля; сырная масса до ее удаления из сыворотки

Oaze, Hose (N-W Dev) - n pl вывески

Oddy, Hoddy (Wil) - adj сильный, энергичный, живой

Old (Dev) - adj большой, сильный, обильный, великолепный: auld to do = a great fass , auld wark - то же; old doing = great sport, great feasting, an uncommon display of hospitality ; a pratty old tap = a great speed ; умный, серьезный; талантливый (ребенок): He looked very old about it. The child was little and old ; хитрый, изворотливый: He’s too old for you . He looked very old at me = he looked very knowingly (distrustfully, angrily, askance ) at me .

Ollet, Elet (Wil) - n сухие и гнилые ветки, используемые как топливо

Orch, Horch (Dev) - v бодать

Ore (Dev, Cor) - n морская водоросль; водоросль, выброшенная на берег приливом

Orrel (Cor) - n высокое крыльцо, веранда


Paise (Wil, Som, Dev, Cor) - v взвешивать (особенно на руке); подымать рычагом; взламывать

Pame (Som, Dev) - n фланелевая пеленка; одеяло, в которое заворачивают ребенка перед крещением

Pancheon (Cor) - n большое глиняное ведро (особенно для молока)

Peach (Cor) - v заманивать (с away ); Peacher - n приманка

Ped (Dev, Cor) - n кляча, лягушка

Pelf (Dev, Cor) - n мусор, отходы; мех, руно; деньги (вульг. )

Peller (Cor) - n колдун; знахарь

Pilch (Som, Cor) - n (треугольная) пеленка

Pind, Pindy (Som) - adj плесневый, несвежий

Play (Som) - v варить, кипятить: Did’th pot play when you come? ; не работать; ~ in - начинать; ~ up - ругать

Plim (Som, Dev) - v распухнуть, увеличиваться в объеме, вздуваться; adj полный

Plum (Wil, Dev, Cor) - v надуваться; подыматься (о тесте); adj (о погоде) мягкий

Polt (Wil) - v сбивать фрукты с дерева длинным шестом; n удар

Pomple (Som) - adj надежный, заслуживающий доверия (о человеке)

Pomster, Pompsy, Pounster (Som, Dev, Cor) - n знахарь; v заниматься врачеванием без достаточных медицинских знаний: Don’t pomster thyself .

Pook (Wil, Som, Cor) - n стог, кипа, куча; v тянуть; ощипать (курицу)

Prill (Som, Dev, Cor) - v скиснуть, свернуться (о молоке), испортиться (о характере, настроении человека): a-prilled , a-pirled

Punish (Dev) - v причинять боль, страдание; ранить; переносить боль: His leg did punish him so. I punished so in the new boots ; съесть, проглотить

Pur (Som) - n баран

Put (Som, Cor, Dev, Wil) - v посылать; заставлять что-либо делать; put in - распрягать; переносить, терпеть (страдания); выполнять что-либо; put out - обнаруживать, обнародовать; put to (till) - допрашивать; мучить; запрягать; закрывать; v толкать


Quank (Wil) - v превозмочь; успокоить; adj тихий, спокойный

Quar (Som, Dev) - v (о молоке) свернуться; задыхаться

Quarrel (Dev, Som, Cor, Wil) - n оконное стекло

Queachy (Som) - adj болотистый, сырой

Quilkin (Dev, Cor) - n лягушка, жаба


Rag (Dev) - n иней; туман; моросящий дождь

Rake (Cor) - n путь, маршрут, направление; путешествие; груз, который можно перенести за один раз; большое количество

Rally (Som, Dev) - v быстро идти, спешить; будить, подымать ото сна; ругать, громко говорить

Rames (Wil, Som, Dev, Cor) - n pl скелет, каркас; засохшая ботва картофеля и других растений

Rane (Som, Dev) - n трещина (напрмер, в дереве); рваное место (одежды)

Ra p (Som, Dev, Cor, Wil) - v менять, выменивать на что-либо; n сделка

Rare (Som, Dev, Cor) - adj ранний (об овощах, фруктах); готовый, приготовленный

Rawn (Wil, Som, Dev, Cor) - v жадно есть; делать борозду; оставлять шрам; rawned - adj обезображенный

Ray (Som, Dev) - v украшать; одевать; раздевать; загрязнять

Read (Som) - n четвертый желудок у жвачных животных; желудок животного; v советовать; предупреждать; объяснять; предполагать

Ream (Dev, Cor) - n сливки

Rear (Wil, Dev, Cor) - adj (о мясе, яйцах) полусырой, недоваренный, недожаренный: Ah likes my bacon a bit rare ; (о фруктах) неспелый; (о погоде) сырой

Rear-mouse (Wil, Som, Dev) - n летучая мышь

Reck (Som) - n небольшая корзина

Reese (Cor) - v (о перезрелом зерне) опадать

Ridder, Riddle (Wil, Som, Cor) - n сито для зерна; v сеять зерно

Rind, Render, Rander, Rainder (Dev) - v перетопить масло или сало

Roak(e) (Wil) - n туман; пар; мелкий дождь

Rode (Cor) - n умение, сноровка, сообразительность

Rose, Rouse (Som, Dev, Cor) - v оползать, опускаться (о земле); падать; n громкое падение; оползень

Rouse (Wil, Dev) - v опрыскивать

Rum (Dev) - adj отличный; превосходный; adv сильно, вовсю, в превосходной степени


Sam (Wil, Som, Dev, Cor) - n , adj неготовый или плохо приготовленный (о пище), плохо подогретый (о пище)

Sammy (Wil) - adj клеклый; мокрый; пропитанный водой; мягкий

Sang, Songle (Dev, Cor) - n пригоршня зерна; небольшой сноп

Sawk (Dev, Cor) - n застенчивый, нервный человек

Sax (Som, Dev, Cor) - n ноги; v разрезать

Scat, Scad (Dev, Cor) - n внезапный кратковременный ливень; период (работы; погоды): a scat of fine weather

Scorse (Som, Dev, Cor) - v выменять, выторговать что-либо

Scovy (Som, Dev, Cor) - adj неодинаковый по цвету, пестрый

Scoy (Cor) - adj худой, плохой; маленький, незначительный

Scraw (Cor) - v просушивать рыбу на солнце и воздухе; жарить рыбу над огнем

Scrint (Com, Dev) - v гореть; спалить; поджигать

Scug (Cor) - n белка

Seam (Som, Dev, Cor) - n груз, поклажа (о лошади)

Sean (Dev, Cor) - n большая сеть для ловли рыбы

Shape (Wil) - v отправиться, уйти: We mun shape our way home ; пытаться что-либо сделать, осуществить

Shippen (Som, Dev, Cor) - n стойло для скота

Shut (Wil, Som) - v избавляться от чего-либо; тратить деньги без меры, транжирить: He shut his addings in drink .

Sim, Zim (Wil) - n резкий запах (особенно от горящей веревки или кости)

Skeel (Wil) - n деревянное ведро; таз

Skeeling, Sheal, Shealing (Wil) - n сарай

Skit (Cor) - n насмешка; намек; скандал; шутка; анекдот; v насмехаться над кем-либо; строить козни; сердиться; ругаться

Slade (Som, Cor) - n долина; углубление; небольшой ручей

Slock (Som, Dev, Cor) - v заманивать, соблазнять; n болото, трясина; впадина между холмами

Sloke (Dev) - v прятаться

Smarry (Dev) - n женская кофта

Smoot, Smeut, Smoat, Smot, Smout, Smut, Smute (Som, Dev) - n = Smeuse ; v быть стеснительным; умирать, околевать (о животных)

Sober (Dev) - adj серьезный, спокойный; бедный; слабый, больной

Sowl (Dev) - v трепать за уши; грубо обращаться; бить

Speer (Som) - v искать; спрашивать (тж. at ) ; следить, наблюдать (тж. с about, into, out ); сделать предложение о браке

Spell (Som) - n рассказ, история; v рассказывать; ругать

Spend (Cor) - n дерн, трава

Spur (Cor) - n период времени (a pure spur, a bra’ spur - долгое время): She has been gon a bra’ spur.

Stean (Wil, Som, Dev, Cor) - n глиняный сосуд

Steg (Wil) - n гусак; индюк; петух; неуклюжий человек

Stem (Wil, Som, Dev, Cor) - n период времени; период работы (смена)

Stout (Wil, Som) - n овод

Strad (Som, Dev) - n pl куски кожи, обвязываемые вокруг ноги, гетры

Stub (Som, Dev) - n большая сумма денег; большой запас чего-либо: He lef’n a good stub ; v разорять, доводить до бедности

Sull (Wil, Som, Dev) - n плуг

Summer, Simmer (Wil, Som, Dev) - n горизонтальный, поперечный, брус; подпорка

Summering (Som, Dev) - n ежегодный праздник

Survey (Som, Dev, Cor) - n аукцион

Swale (Dev) - v жечь


Tallet (Wil, Som, Dev, Cor) - n помещение для хранения сена на чердаке или над стойлом; чердак

Tave (Som) - v беситься, бушевать, бороться; выполнять тяжелую работу; спешить; быстро идти; n трудность (в том числе материальная)

Tease (Som) - v разматывать

Teel (Wil, Cor, Som, Dev) - v прислонять к чему-либо; открывать: tile a gate ; не отступать от своего решения; упрямо делать что-либо

Teen (Cor, Dev) - n закрывать

Tell (Som, Cor) - v считать, рассчитывать: Did you tell the clock when it stuck? ; платить (обычно с out, down ): They must tell down good five pounds ; приговорить (к какому-либо наказанию): The judge told a man for hanging .

Temporary, Tempery, Tempory (Som) - adj слабый, хрупкий, непрочный: My clock - warks are gettin’ rather temporary . Ye’re a temporary creature .

Temse (Wil) - n сито; v сеять, просеивать

Tetch (Som, Dev) - n походка; привычка; Tetchy - adj раздражительный; (о погоде) переменчивый

Tewly (Wil) - adj слабый, нежный, болехненный, хрупкий; поправляющийся, выздоравливающий (о больном)

Thirl (Som, Dev, Cor) - adj худой, тощий; голодный; (о колосе) пустой, без зерен

Throw (Som) - v родить, произвести: Thick mare’ll drow a good colt ; быть против чего-либо; спорить, не соглашаться; сердиться, раздражать

Tie (Som, Cor) - n пуховая перина; кровать

Tift (Dev) - v одевать, наряжать

Till, Toll (Dev, Cor) - v вручать, давать; достигнуть (чего-либо)

Tine (Wil, Som, Dev) - v закрывать; огораживать

Trant (Som) - v переносить тяжести

Trig (Wil, Som, Dev, Cor) - v укрепить, закрепить, заклинить, подпереть

Truff (Som, Dev, Cor) - n форель

Twire (Wil) - v пристально смотреть


Unco (Wil) - n pl известия, новости

Ure (Cor) - n грязь, глина


Vair (Som, Dev, Cor) - n ласка (животное)

Vlare (Som) - n дефект, изъян

Vreach (Som, Dev) - adj старательно, тщательно


Wairsh (Dev) - adj пресный, несоленый; безвкусный; сырой

Wake (Wil) - n прорубь на озере или на реке; деревенский праздник (pl )

Wall (Som) - v кипеть

Wang (Som) - n часть плуга; v гнуться, прогибаться (от груза); падать в обморок

Want (Som, Cor, Wil, Dev) - n крот

Warth (Som) - n луг (особенно близкий к ручью); берег

Wat (Cor) - n заяц

Weel, Weil (Cor) - n корзина из прутьев для ловли рыбы

Wem, Wen (Cor) - n пятно, изъян; дыра на одежде

Went, Vent, Want, Wint (Som, Cor, Dev) - n дорога, колея; пересекающиеся дороги; v идти; скиснуть (о жидкостях, особенно о молоке)

Win (Som, Dev) - v сушить (злаки, сено, торф и т.д) на воздухе; n жатва

Wink (Cor) - n пивной магазин

Wride (Cor, Som, Dev) - v (о растениях) давать несколько отростков от одного корня; распространяться; расширяться; n куст


Yote (Wil, Som) - v лить, выливать, поливать; глотать, жадно пить


1. In considering the history and development of the English language we may maintain that a regional variety of English is a complex of regional standard norms and dialects. We must admit, however, that rural dialects, in the conservative sense of the word, are almost certainly dying out (e.g. the Cornish language): increasing geographical mobility, centralization and urbanization are undoubtedly factors in this decline. Owing to specific ways of development, every regional variety is characterized by a set of features identical to a variety of English.

In the United Kingdom RP is a unique national standard.

About seventy or so years ago along with regional types dozen upon dozens of

rural dialects co-existed side by side in the country. The situation has greatly

changed since and specifically after the Second World War. Dialects survive for

the most part in rural districts and England is a highly urbanized country and has

very few areas that are remote or difficult to access. Much of the regional variation

in pronunciation currently to be found in the country is gradually being lost. On the

other hand, it is important to note that urban dialects are undergoing developments

of a new type, and the phonetic differences between urban varieties seem to be on

the increase.

The United Kingdom is particular about accents, in the sense that here attitudes and

prejudices many people hold towards non-standard pronunciations are still

very strong.

Therefore RP has always been and still is the “prestigious” national standard

pronunciation, the so-called implicitly accepted social standard. In spite of the fact

that RP speakers form a very small percentage of the British population, it has the

highest status of British English pronunciation and is genuinely regionless.

2. The comparative analysis of the phonetic system of the regional varieties of English pronunciation shows the differences in the pronunciation in the system of consonant and vowel phonemes.

3. The comparative analysis of the grammar presents the difference between the standard language and the dialects of the South-West of England.

In conclusion we may say that the problems of the regional dialects (its phonetic, grammar and lexical systems) open up wide vistas for further investigations.

B I B L I O G R A P H Y.

1. Бродович О.И. Диалектная вариативность английского языка: аспекты теории. Л., 1988

2. Маковский М.М. Английская диалектология. Современные английские диалекты Великобритании. М., 1980

3. Шахбагова Д.А. Фонетические особенности произносительных вариантов английского языка. М., 1982

4. Allen B.H., Linn M.D. Dialect and language variation, Orlando, 1986

5. Brook G.L. English Dialects, Oxford Un. Press, 1963

6. Brook G.L. Varieties of English, Lnd, 1977

7. Cheshire J. Variation in an English dialect. A sociolinguistic study, Cambridge Un. Press, 1982

8. Crystal D. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, Cambridge, 1995

9. Encyclopedia Britannica CD 2000 Deluxe Edition

10. Gimson A.C. An Introduction to the Pronunciation of English, Lnd, 1981

11. Hughes and Trudgill, English accents and dialects: An introduction to social and regional varieties of British English, Lnd, 1979

12. Malmstrom J., Weaver C Transgrammar. English structure, style and dialects, Brighton, 1973

13. Shaw G.B. Pygmalion, NY, 1994

14. Sheerin S., Seath J., White G. Spotlight on Britain, Oxford, 1990

15. Shopen T., Williams J.M. Standards and dialects in English, Cambridge, 1980

16. Trudgill P. On dialect: Social and Geographical Perspectives, NY and Lnd, 1984

17. Trudgill P. Dialects in Contact, Oxford, 1986

18. Trudgill P., Chambers J.K. Dialects of English Studies in grammatical variation. Longman, №9

19. Wakelin M.F. Discovering English Dialects, Shire Publications LTD, 1978


20. Hornby A.S. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English, Oxford Un. Press, 1996

Audio tapes analysed:

21. Accents, Glossa Melit, M., 2000

TV program analysed:

22. Holiday in the Southwest, the channel “Discovery”, 2000

Приложение 3.

The Southwest.

The principal industries here are farming and tourism. There are some very big farms, but most are small family farms with a mixture of cows, sheep and crops. The main emphasis is on dairy products - milk and butter. On Exmoor and Dartmoor, two areas of higher land, conditions are ideal for rearing sheep and beef-cattle.

Industry is centered on three large ports: Bristol in the north, and Portsmouth and Southampton in the south-east. In Bristol, aircraft are designed and built. In Portsmouth and Southampton, the main industries are shipbuilding and oil-refining.

1. Holiday time in the West Country.

The countries of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset are often called the West Country. They have always been popular with holiday-makers, so there are a large number of hotels, caravan - and camping-sites and private houses and farms which offer bed and breakfast. There is a beautiful countryside, where people can “get away from it all”, and the coastline offers the best beaches and surfing in England. Also, the weather is usually warmer than in the rest of the country.

2. West Country Food.

The national drink of Devon is a cream tea. This consists of a pot of tea and scones served with strawberry jam and cream. The cream is not the same as that found in the rest of the country. It is called clotted cream, and it is much thicker and yellower than ordinary cream. And there is another national dish called a Cornish pasty.

Pasties used to be the main food of Cornish miners fishermen about 150 years ago, because they provided a convenient meal to take to work. They were made of pastry which had either sweet or savoury fillings, and were marked with the owner’s initials on one end. This was so that if he did not eat all his pasty at once he would know which one belonged to him!

Somerset has always been famous for its cheeses. The most popular variety is probably “Cheddar”, which is a firm cheese. It usually has a rather mild flavour but if it is left to ripen, it tastes stronger, and is sold in the shops as “mature Cheddar”. It takes its name from a small town, which is also, a beauty-spot well-known for its caves, which contain stalagmites and stalactites.

A West Country famous drink is Somerset cider or "Scrumpy" as it is called. Cider is made from apples and is sold all over the United Kingdom, but scrumpy is much stronger, and usually has small pieces of the fruit floating in it.

3. Sightseeings.

The country of Wiltshire is most famous for the great stone monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury, and the huge earth pyramid of Silbury. No written records exist of the origins of these features and they have always been surrounded by mystery.

Stonehenge is the best known and probably the most remarkable of prehistoric remains in the UK. It has stood on Salisbury Plain for about 4000 years. There have been many different theories about its original use and although modern methods of investigation have extended our knowledge, no one is certain why it was built.

One theory is that it was a place from where stars and planets could be observed. It was discovered that the positions of some of the stones related to the movements of the sun and moon, so that the stones could be used as a calendar to predict such things as eclipses. At one time, people thought that Stonehenge was a Druid temple. The Druids were a Celtic religious group who was suppressed in Great Britain soon after the Roman Conquest. Some people believe that they were a group of priests, while others regarded them as medicine-men who practised human sacrifice and cannibalism.

Because Stonehenge had existed 1000 years before the arrival of the Druids, this theory has been rejected, but it is possible that the Druids used it as a temple. The theory is kept alive today by members of a group called the “Most Ancient Order of Druids” who perform mystic rites at dawn on the summer solstice. Every year, they meet at Stonehenge to greet the first midsummer sunlight as it falls on the stones and they lay out symbolic elements of fire, water, bread, salt and a rose.

Another interesting theory is that the great stone circle was used to store terrestrial energy, which was then generated across the country, possibly through “ley lines”. “Ley lines” is the name given to invisible lines, which link up ancient sites through out Britain. They were thought to be tracks by which prehistoric man travelled about the country, but now many people believe that they are mysterious channels for a special kind of power.

4. The sea-ships and sailors.

The coastline of the Southwest of England stretches for 650 miles (over 1000 km), and has many different features: cliffs, sand, sheltered harbours, estuaries and marshes. It is not surprising that much of the activity in this region has been inspired by the sea.

Side by side on the south coast of Hampshire are the two ports of Portsmouth and Southampton. Portsmouth is the home of the Royal Navy, and its dockyard has a lot of interesting buildings and monuments. There is also the Royal Naval museum, where the main attraction is Horatio Nelson’s flagship, the “Victory”.

Southampton, on the other hand, is a civilian port for continental ferries, big liners, and oil and general cargo.

Many great sailors had associations with the West Country, for example, Sir Walter Raleigh, the Elizabethan explorer, and Horatio Nelson, who lived in Bath in Somerset. The most famous sailor of recent times, was Sir Francis Chichester, who returned to Plymouth after sailing round the world alone in “Gypsy Moth”.

In Bristol, to the north, one of the largest Victorian steamships, the “Great Britain”, has been restored. It was the first iron ocean - going steamship in the world and was designed by a civil and mechanical engineer with the unusual name of Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859). He not only designed three ships (including the first transatlantic steamer, the “Great Western”), but also several docks and a new type of railway that enabled trains to travel at greater speeds. He also designed the first ever tunnel underneath the Thames and the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Unfortunately, this coastline, in particular that of Cornwall, is famous - or infamous - in another way too. The “foot” of Cornwall has the worst of the winter gales, and in recorded history there have been more than fifteen shipwrecks for every mile of coastline. There is even a shipwreck centre and museum near St. Austell where there is an amazing collection of items that have been taken from wrecks over the years.

There are a lot of stories about Cornish “wreckers” who, it is said, tied lanterns to the tails of cows on cliff-tops or put them on lonely beaches when the weather was bad, so that ships would sail towards the lights and break up on the dangerous rocks near the coast. The wreckers would then be able to steal anything valuable that was washed up on to the shore.