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PECULIARITIES OF AMERICAN ENGLISH ON THE EXAMPLE OF A U.S. AMERICAN MOVIE

PECULIARITIES OF AMERICAN ENGLISH ON THE EXAMPLE OF A U.S. AMERICAN MOVIE

Choose a contemporary U.S. American movie that was produced after 1980. The movie should be set in the USA in the 20th or 21st century. Find subtitles to the chosen movie. If the movie goes without subtitles, try searching for them at https://www.opensubtitles.org/. Analyze the movie according to the following plan:

1. Background information Brief description of the movie which includes title, year of production, director, leading actors, synopsis. Please write in your own words; if you use an external source, paraphrase it and provide a reference.

2. Phonetics and Phonology Detect as many different features of American English pronunciation as you can in the movie. Write out the corresponding sentences with their timing in the movie and provide the transcription of the words with typically American pronunciation/stress.

3. Spelling Focusing on the subtitles, try to find as many different examples of American spelling as you can. Provide the whole sentence with the timing and mark the lexical item which is spelled differently.

4. Grammar Do the same as in point 3 but focusing on grammatical peculiarities.

5. Vocabulary Write out sentences that contain lexical Americanisms with the timing of their occurrence. Provide their definition and a corresponding British English equivalent.
This point also includes lexical items which are used to name objects typical for U.S. American culture only (e.g. names of games, dishes, devices, etc.). Since these items won’t have a British equivalent, supplement their definition with an image (if you can find one)..

6. Idioms Write out all sentences containing idioms or other fixed expressions. Provide their respective explanations.
If you are not sure, what a fixed expression is, check https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed_expression
Can you identify one particular character that uses idioms the most? If so, why would he/she do it? Try to generalize situations in which idioms appear most frequently.

7. Slang Write out all sentences containing items of slang and provide their explanation and a way of expression of the same idea in neutral stylistic register. The Urban Dictionary might be particularly helpful to you in this respect – https://www.urbandictionary.com/
Link the use of slang to the context of its occurrence and the character using it. Why do the characters use slang and in which situations do they use it instead of the standard variety?

8. Regional varieties Focus on the state or city where the movie is set and try to spot the regional features of speaking on the level of pronunciation, vocabulary or grammar and syntax. Those items that turn out to be regionalism will only go here; you do not have to repeat them in earlier sections of this table.
Check whether any character in your movie belongs to an ethnic group other than white U.S. American (e.g. African Americans, Chinese Americans, Jewish American, Native Americans, Latino/a, etc.). If so, describe the peculiarities of his/her speaking on the level of pronunciation, vocabulary or grammar and syntax.

9. Conversational phrases Write out conversational phrases that you spot in the movies and identify their function. E.g. – How’ve you been? – Keeping cool. (a greeting and a reaction to it expressing general state of happiness and well-being)

10. Culture List all the cultural information that the movie contains together with a brief explanation. Some examples include real-life public figures, historical events, companies, books, movies, cities, natural parks, and so on.

Background information Brief description of the movie which includes title, year of production, director, leading actors, synopsis.

We all know that Americans communicate English differently in comparison to the British or Australians or perhaps Canadians do, but quite often we believe of those dissimilarities in terms of the way we pronounce particular words and phrases (i.e., our highlights). Most people also know that there are some differences that manifest themselves in written language as well as speech, including well-known lexical variations such as lorry/truck, pavement/sidewalk, tap/faucet, autumn/fall, etc. But beyond calling some things by different names, there are many other peculiarities of American English in its phrasing and syntax that set it apart from other brands of the English language. For example, phrases such as “omit to”, “endure to”, etc. are common in British usage but rarely occur in American English; and the bare infinitive after “insist”, “demand”, “require”, etc. (e.g., “I insist he be here by noon.”) is common in American English but rare in other brands of English. There are also considerable semantic differences between British and American English, for example: “tuition” is not used to cover tuition fees in British English; “surgery” in British English is “doctor’s office” in American English; “school” does not include higher education in British English, etc. Usage not only differs but can be misleading, for example, British English uses “sick” for the American “nauseous”, whereas “sick” in American English is comparable to “ill” in British English; British “braces” are U.S. “suspenders”, while “suspenders” in British English refers to something else entirely. (For more information about differences between American and British English, see Fillmore, et al., An American National Corpus: A Proposal and John Algeo, “British and American Grammatical Differences”, in The International Journal of Lexicography, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1988.)

. Spelling Focusing on the subtitles, try to find as many different examples of American spelling as you can

Of course, even within the U.S. you will find considerable variations in not just vocabulary, and also phrasing and syntax, while you move from place to region across the country. In fact, the characteristics of different “brands” of American English has been a topic of considerable interest for at least 100 years, and has led to the creation of a Dictionary of American Regional English, a multi-volume work-in-progress that documents regional variations in terminology and pronunciation across the U.S. Very recently, PBS aired a program entitled Do You Speak American? , based on a book by Robert MacNeil and William Cran, which examined in depth variations in American English and the sociological impact of language use in the U.S. (The PBS website for the show is an excellent source of a wide variety of information about American English, well worth checking out.) What we learn from all of these sources is that American English is a rich English “dialect” of its own, with possibly numerous sub-varieties (including ebonics, chicano, etc.) that manifest their own fascinating characteristics, many of them a result of influences from other languages and cultures that have played–and/or continue to play–a defining role in U.S. history. It also tells us that the language is constantly developing, and that new words and constructs arise every day in (especially) Americans’ use of English.

You are the creator of any dictionary of English, and your major industry is in the usa. To be successful, your dictionary should reflect the ways in which words and syntactic constructs are used by Americans–including, potentially, the variants that reflect regional usage.

+You happen to be web search engine designer, and you want to improve your lookups to provide papers which are actually on the subject an individual is interested in. But if your language analysis program only recognizes British terms and syntax, it either won’t work well for Americans, or will possibly “break” when it encounters American constructions and not work at all.

You are a instructor of English as a next terminology, and you would like to teach English as talked inside the Usa, including not just feature and also word use and syntactic buildings.

You happen to be translator in Iraq as well as your audience is American troops, which is most expedient should your language translation is comprehended immediately and entirely, without needing clarification or resulting in even momentary frustration.

You are a programmer producing language translation software program, plus your focus on words is American The english language. You want your translator to produce the most natural sounding prose possible.

In each case, the dissimilarities between American English and other kinds of English are crucial, otherwise essential. The next question is: how do you find out what all of these differences are, and which ones are more common than others? And how do you deal with the fact that language use changes over time, and new words and constructs come into the common vocabularly every day? How will it be possible to keep up with these changes, and to know when a word or construct is well enough established to warrant inclusion in your dictionary, search engine, or class plan? The answer, of course, is to consult the ANC.