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  Wikipedia: Canadian English

Wikipedia: Canadian English
Canadian English
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

 Major English dialects:
American English
Australian English
British English
Canadian English
Caribbean English
Hiberno-English
Indian English
Jamaican English
Liberian English
Malaysian English
Newfoundland English
New Zealand English
Singapore English
South African English

Canadian English is the form of English used in Canada.

In many respects, the spelling of Canadian English is intermediate between British English and American English. However, the spoken language is much closer to American English than British English. It is also influenced by Canadian French, as Canada has both English and French as official languages.

Spelling

There is no universally accepted standard of Canadian spelling. In general, Canadians agree with British usage as to -our (honour, colour, endeavour) as well as the usage of -re (centre, theatre) along with many other classes of British/American spelling distinctions. In most cases, -ize (plagiarize, dramatize, realize) is preferred to -ise in words where either ending is possible, but the British -yse (analyse) is usual. American spellings prevalent in Canada include aluminum, artifact, jail, curb, program, specialty, tire, and carburetor. (See American and British English differences.) (There are occasional exceptions: One of the main jails in Toronto, Ontario is officially called the 'Don Gaol.')

Also, several lexical items come from British English or even archaic British English, such as lieutenant (/lEf/-) and light standard (lamp-post). Several political terms are uniquely Canadian, including riding (electoral district) and win by acclamation (to win uncontested).

A plausible contemporary reference for formal Canadian spelling is the spelling used for Hansard transcripts of the Canadian Parliament.

Accent

The primary aspect is a feature called "Canadian raising", in which diphthongs are raised before voiceless consonants. For example, whereas many American dialects pronounce the first diphthongs in the words writer and rider the same, a Canadian will pronounce them (approximately) as /rVjd@r/ and /rajd@r/ (in SAMPA transcription). That is, the first part of the diphthong in both words in American English is ahh as in father; the first part of the diphthong in writer in Canadian English is uhh as in cut, a higher vowel than the American usage. However, some American English accents, particularly those near Ontario, speak like this. Note also that Canadian English shares with American English the phenomenon where /t/ becomes /d/ between two vowels. Canadian raising preserves the voicelessness of /t/ and the voicedness of /d/ where it is etymologically appropriate, even where the contrast is lost in the consonant itself.

Similarly, about will be raised from /abawt/, as it is in American "Atlantic" dialect, to /abVwt/ ("abuhwt"), or nearly even /abowt/ ("aboat") in some dialects.

Anecdotally, the "abuhwt" or even "a-beh-oot" vowels are heard in Ontario and further east, and the "aboat" vowels are heard in the Western provinces. Also heard are: "can't", in Ontario, almost "kayant", whereas in the west, it becomes more "kahnt."

Canadian English also pronounces the short "a" of "bat" slightly further back than American English. There is a tendency to monophthongize the long "a" and "o" sounds, resulting in /be:t/ for "bait" and /bo:t/ for "boat" (though this occurs usually in rapid speech). "Cot" and "caught" merge into /kAt/ as in Californian English. Finally, the broad /A/ of foreign loan words in words like "drama" or "Iraq" are usually pronounced like the short "a" of "bat": /dræm@/, /Iræk/.

Americans sometimes claim to be able to recognize some Canadians instantly by their use of the word eh. However, only a certain usage of eh (detailed in the article) is peculiar to Canada, and it is more common in southern Ontario and the Maritimes than elsewhere in the country.

(It should be noted that, in some parts of the United States, American English exhibits features of Canadian English, including Canadian Raising and the use of eh. Canadian accents are sometimes detected among Michiganders and their northern fellows.)

Vocabulary

Canadian English also has its own words not found in other variants of English. Like other dialects of English that exist in proximity to francophones, French loanwords have entered Canadian English, such as:

  • serviette, meaning "napkin";
  • poutine, a dish made with home-made french fries and melted cheese curd topped with gravy;
  • dépanneur, a corner store (convenience store), shortened to "dep" (Quebec only);
  • cégep, a two- or three-year pre-university or professional college (Quebec only);
  • allophone, someone who speaks a first language other than English or French;
  • anglophone, someone whose first language is English;
  • francophone, someone whose first language is French;
  • tuque, a close-fitting woolen winter hat (the spelling toque is assimilated from a different kind of hat);
  • historical and political terms such as voyageur, Automatiste, Quiet Revolution, péquiste, bloquiste.

In 1998 Oxford University Press produced a Canadian English Dictionary after 5 years of lexicographical research. It listed uniquely Canadian words, words borrowed from other languages and was able to survey whether colour or color was the most popular choice in common use.

Uniquely Canadian English words include:

  • Loonie: The unofficial name for Canada's one-dollar gold-coloured coin carrying an image of a Loon on one side
  • Toonie: The unofficial name for Canada's two-dollar coin, the name obviously referring to the number two and the Loonie that pre-dated it
  • Garburator: The garbage disposal unit located beneath the drain of a kitchen sink -- a rare appliance in Canada, in contrast with the United States.
  • Parkade: Parking garage
  • eavestrough: gutter
  • Chesterfield: A sofa, couch or loveseat
  • Ghetto blaster: A portable stereo system, or "boom box". The term was common throughout North America at a time, but is at present common in Canada.

There are a few meaning differences between Canadian and American English; for example, to table a document in Canada is to present it, whereas in the US it means to withdraw it from consideration.

Also, when pronouncing letters of the alphabet, Canadians will often use the Anglo-European "zed" rather than the American "zee" for the letter Z.

The island of Newfoundland has its own dialect distinct from Canadian English. (See Newfoundland English)

External Links

Further Reading

  • Canadian Raising: O'Grady and Dobrovolsky, Contemporary Linguistic Analysis: An Introduction, 3d ed., pp 67-68.


  

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona