The Role Social Class Plays on the British English Language

951 WordsFeb 17, 20184 Pages
Social class is a hierarchal structure, whereby people within society are grouped and then classified, depending on their economic, social or educational status. British English is a type of English language, which is used in Great Britain. Within modern contemporary British English, it could be argued that social class plays a major part with how the language is today. Firstly, within Britain, there is a variety of different accents that differ from each other, whereby words are pronounced in a style that is due to a certain geographical location. It could be said that, regional dialects are commonly associated with class, as some regions have a social stigma attached to them, which then perceives them as having lower 'prestige' within society. Author Jason Jones believes that '… most people tend to evaluate a speakers social position on the basis of their accent and dialect. So, in Britain, a speaker with the accent associated with Merseyside or West Midlands might be judged as being working class, while those with accents linked with 'Home Counties' or Edinburgh might be placed on a higher position on the social scale' (1999:135). One accent that tends to have negative connotations attached to it, is the 'Brummie' accent. The 'Brummie' accent is the regional dialect for the city Birmingham that derives from the colloquial term, 'Brum'. The most common features of the accent is: words that use the vowel ‘i’, are pronounced like ‘oy’, therefore ‘bite’ would be pronounced
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