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Dialect and variant. The main features of dialect words

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  1. Abbreviations of words.
  2. Borrowing of French words.
  3. Characteristic features of English dictionaries.
  4. Circle the word in each group which does not belong with the other words.
  5. Comment on the change of meanings in the italicized words.
  6. Dialect Words
  8. Dialectism – a dialectal word.
  9. Ex. 3. Give definitions of the following words. Look them up in the English-English dictionary.
  10. EXERCISE 4. Define roots and stems in the following words.
  11. Features and functions

Dialect – is a variety of language, which prevails in a districts with local peculiarities of voc., pronunciation, phrase.

Variant –is original variety possessing a literary form.

In G.B there are 2 variants: Scottish, Irish. There are 5 dialects: Northern, Midland, Eastern, Western and Southern. Every group has 4 or 5dialects.

Cockney – Southern dialect (London). It exists in 2 levels: as spoken by educated and uneducated people. Features of Cockney dialect

1. Interchange between [W] and [V]: [vel] – [wel] – well

2. The voiceless and voiced dental spirants: [O] – [f] fing – thing; [ ] – [v] faver – father.

3. Interchange of the aspirated and non-aspirated initial sounds: heart – ‘eart.

4. Substitution of diphthongs: day- [dai], way – [wai].

Features: 1.Dialect peculiarities especially those of voc are constantly being incorporated into coll. speech. From these levels they can come into common stock. E.g.: car, tram ,trolley – used to be dialect words.

2.Using dialect words is the bright, expressive means.



Learned words.

1. They are associated with printed pages.

2. Sphere of usage; they are used by educated and highly educated people.

3. They are subdivided into:

- Scientific prose –identified by their dry flavour: comprise, compile, homogeneous.

- Officialese –words of the official, bueurocratic language. They should be avoided in speech: to assist – to help, to proceed – to go, approximately – about.

- Literary words –described as refined, they are used in descriptive passages of fiction. They are represented by the words of Roman languages and though fully adopted to English phonetic system still sound foreign: solitude, sentiment, fascination, cordial, allusive.

- Modes of poetic diction –they are lofty, high-flown, archaic, coloured, used only in poetry: alas, constancy – верность, duth – do.


Archaisms, obsolete words and historisms, their general characteristics.

Obsolete words – are no longer in use, especially out of use for at least a century. Archaic words – are current in earlier times, but rare in present usage. Historisms –are words denoting objects and phenomena, which are thing of the past and no longer exist.


1. They stand close to the learned words (modes of poetic dictions)

2. Archaisms are associated with printed pages.

3. They are moribund, are out of circulation, rejected by living lang. and are not used in conversational situations.

4. They are met in historical novels and poetry. They are used to create a particular period of time.

5. Sometimes archaic words may undergo a sudden reveal: kin used to be archaic word.

E.g.: thou – you, thy – your, nay –no, aye- yes.


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