Brits adopting American-style pronunciation of certain words

Posted By: Ani
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London, Feb 6 (ANI): British people are now adopting the American-style pronunciation of certain words.

Interim results of a study by the British Library suggested a third of Britons taking part now adopt the American-style 'skedule' over the traditional pronunciation, which has a softer 'sh' sound, reports the Telegraph.

Other US pronunciations taking root, according to researchers, are 'pay-triotic', in place of 'pat-riotic', and 'advertISEment', instead of "adVERTisement".

The research, which is ongoing, is part of a series of projects connected to the British Library's Evolving English exhibition.

It involves volunteers using the library's website to submit a recording of themselves saying six prescribed words and stating where they are from.

Initial findings of the research have indicated that Britons are also creating a new way of saying controversy, which has not traditionally been used in Britain or the US.

Three quarters of Britons taking part say 'conTROversy', with the emphasis on the middle syllable, rather than the previously conventional 'CONtroversy'.

Jonnie Robinson, curator of socio-linguistics and education at the British Library, said the word had undergone a 'stress shift'.

"The new pronunciation - conTROversy - does appear to be peculiarly British and it is catching on," he said.

"People complain about it, when they hear it on the radio, for instance, and there might be a popular myth that this one is changing as a result of American usage - but there is no evidence that Americans are doing it," he added.

"That isn't the case with "skedule", which is used by all Americans and does seem to be being adopted here, particularly by younger speakers," said Robinson.

The library has already collected hundreds of contributions but volunteers are still able to take part.

Linguists put changing pronunciations down to the influence of broadcasters and US culture.

"People are getting a bit more conscious of how words are pronounced, said Wyn Johnson, from the department of language and linguistics at the University of Essex.

"I think broadcasters could have an influence on this. The number of times something is heard, influences the way people pronounce it, because they assume that is the way to say it," he added. (ANI)

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