Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Lecso is a Hungarian vegetable dish which is easy to make. To make lecso you need the following:

2 sliced onions
3 peppers, seeded and sliced
3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

Heat the oil, add the onions, and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the sliced peppers and cook for another 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and salt and paprika to taste. Cook for another five minutes or until the vegetables are well cooked. If you want, you can also add chopped sausage.

I hope you enjoy this simple and tasty dish. It ocmbines three ingredients which Hungarians love: peppers, tomatoes and paprika.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Boston Accent

The Boston accent is one of the most famous accents in the United States. President John F. Kennedy spoke with the Boston accent. The two features which are most associated with the Boston accent are features which vary from speaker to speaker. They are the lack of rhoticity and the broad a.

The non-rhotic pronunciation of the Boston accent is also heard in New York and other parts of New England. In Canada, this pronunciation occurs in the southern part of Nova Scotia. Words such as "father" and "card" do not preserve the r that is heard in other American accents. However, it is important to note that not all people from Boston have a non-rhotic pronunciation. Some have a rhotic pronunciation and in other speakers, rhoticity is variable.

For non-rhotic speakers, the words "heart" and "hot" are pronounced differently. The first word has the low back unrounded vowel of "father" and the second has the low back rounded vowel which is also heard in Received Pronunciation. This is different from New York where the two words are pronounced the same.

The broad a is also associated with the Boston accent. However, it is used less extensively than in Received Pronunciation. Words such as bath, ask and answer are often pronounced with this vowel. Other American accents only use the low front vowel of cat in these words. Though the broad a is a feature of the Boston accent, many Boston speakers do not use it. The word aunt is a notable exception. All speakers of the Boston accent pronounce the word aunt with a low back vowel.

The Boston accent is one of the most recognized accents of the United States. It is a prestigious accent with two features which it shares with Received Pronunciation. They are the broad a and the lack of rhoticity.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Unaccusative Verb

An accusative verb is a verb which does not take an object and has a subject which is not an agent. The subject has the semantic role of a patient. This distinguishes the accusative verb from an unergative verb, a verb which does not take an object but has a subject which is an agent.

The verb "die" is an unaccusative verb. In the sentence "He died," the subject is a patient. The subject is not actively responsible for the action of the verb. However, in the sentence, "He resigned," the verb "resign" is an unergative verb. The subject is an agent because it is actively responsible for the action of the verb.

The following sentences all have unaccusative verbs:

She has fallen.
They have arrived.
The ice melted.
The window broke.
The guests have left.

Unaccusative past participles can be used as modifiers of a noun but unergative past participles cannot. Compare the following:

the melted snow, the fallen soldiers, the departed visitors
*the shouted employee, *the slept woman, *the telephoned father

An unaccusative verb is a special type of intransitive verb. Unlike an unergative verb, the subject is not an agent but a patient. Another important difference is that unlike unergative past participles, unaccusative past participles can function as nominal modifiers.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Canadian English/ RP

The pronunciation of Canadian English and RP (Received Pronunciation), also known as Queen's English and Oxford English, can vary significantly. The following ten words are pronounced differently by speakers of Canadian English and RP. The Canadian pronunciation corresponds to my own.


In Canadian English, of is pronounced with the vowel of up. In RP, it is pronounced with the vowel of park.

In Canadian English, city is pronounced with a flap. In RP, the "t" is realized as a voiceless alveolar plosive.

Canadians pronounce middle with a flap In RP, the "d" is realized as a voiced alveolar plosive.

Most Canadians pronounce tube without a palatal glide. In RP, this word is pronounced with a palatal glide.

Almost all Canadians pronounce car with an aveolar approximant. In RP, however, the "r" is not pronounced.

The word debris is stressed differently by speakers of Canadian English and RP. In Canadian English, the second syllable is stressed. In RP, it is the first syllable.

In Canadian English, dot is pronounced with the vowel of car. In RP, however, the vowel is a low back rounded vowel which does not occur in Canadian English. The Canadian vowel is unrounded.

Canadians pronounce tournament with the vowel of turn and the r is pronounced. In RP, however, the vowel of tore is used in the first syllable and the r is not pronounced.

Canadians pronounce fast with the vowel of cat. In RP, however, the a is pronounced with the vowel of father.

Most Canadians pronounce marry with the vowel of let. RP speakers pronounce it with the vowel of man.

Canadian English and RP exhibit many differences in pronuncation. Differences also exist in stress. The list of ten words helps to illustrate this.

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