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Term Paper, 2007
As a topic for this term paper I chose an interesting and currently discussed accent in the south of Great Britain: The so-called "Estuary English". I was motivated to write about it because of its special role among the accents in the U.K. Some believe it to be "tomorrow’s RP". As there are a lot of varieties of English in the media and popular music, even foreign language learners get in contact with different pronunciations and accents. Apparently, as a future language teacher, it is important for me to teach students a right pronunciation of British English and moreover to be a role model in this respect. Therefore it will certainly help me to know something about the most popular accents in Great Britain and I believe Estuary English (EE) to be one of them.
What are the aims of the following term paper? At first, I will define some basic terms that are important for this topic and explain the special role of EE. Second, I am going to describe the linguistic features and variables of EE in detail by referring to linguistic studies and research that has been done. After that I will talk about the status and prestige of EE and explain the role of the media in this context. Finally I am going to finish with a short summary of what has been said.
Estuary English is currently one of the most interesting accents in Great Britain. It was first scientifically looked at in 1984 by David Rosewarne, who coined the term. Since then, EE has spread quickly from its original area, the Thames Estuary, to the north and west. It is widely accepted and even famous people are heard speaking EE. The most important features are the glottal stop and the l-vocalization. These are also the features that could be taken over as the future standard, as they are widely used and not only in EE. The importance of EE for the English Language as such is rather overestimated, especially in the media; still it is noteworthy that at least some features are significant for the future.
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