Friday, July 13, 2012

West Country Accent

The West Country Accent refers to the English accent of the southwest of England.  The largest city in this region is Bristol.  The West Country also includes the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.  The accent of this region is distinct from that of London.

In the West Country Accent, the word-final y of words such as happy and party is pronounced as the diphthong in day, rain and grey.  This pronunciation is also common in the north of England.

The West Country Accent is rhotic.  This means that the r is pronounced in all cases.  Unlike in London, the r is pronounced in words such as heart, park and four.

Word-initial fricatives can be voiced.  For example, the f of five can be pronounced as a v and the s of so can be pronounced as a z.

The a in words such as ask, castle and dance is a low front or low central vowel.  It is not a low back vowel as in London.

In many words with an l before a word-final consonant, the l is often not pronounced.  For example, many speakers do not pronounce the l in words such as build and cold.

The West Country Accent is a famous accent of southwestern England.  Two characteristics of the West Country Accent which make it distinct from that of London are the retention of the r in all instances and the pronunciation of the a in words such as bath and fast as a low front or low central vowel rather than a low back vowel.  This accent is one of the best-known accents of England.

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