English, or English, is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere. The Oxford English Dictionary applies the term to English "as spoken or written in the British Isles; esp[ecially] the forms of English usual in Great Britain", reserving "Hiberno-English" for the "English language as spoken and written in Ireland".are slight regional variations in formal written English in the United Kingdom. For example, although the words wee and little are interchangeable in some contexts, wee (as an adjective) is almost exclusively written by some people from some parts of northern Britain (and especially Scotland) or fromNorthern Ireland, whereas in Southern England and Wales, little is used predominantly. Nevertheless, there is a meaningful degree of uniformity in writtenEnglish within the United Kingdom, and this could be described by the term British English.
is a West Germanic language originated from the Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Britain by Germanic settlers from various parts of what is now northwest Germany and the northernNetherlands. The resident population at this time was generally speaking Brythonic-the insular variety of continental Celtic which was influenced by occupation by the Romans. This group of languages (Welsh, Cornish, Cumbric) cohabited alongside English into the modern period, but due to their remoteness from the Germanic languages, influence on English was notably limited. However, the degree of influence remains debated, and it has recently been argued that its grammatical influence accounts for the substantial innovations noted between English and the other West Germanic languages. Initially, Old English was a diverse group of dialects, reflecting the varied origins of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms of England. One of these dialects, Late West Saxon, eventually came to dominate. The original Old English language was then influenced by two waves of invasion; the first was by language speakers of the Scandinavian branch of the Germanic family; they conquered and colonised parts of Britain in the 8th and 9th centuries. The second was the Normans in the 11th century, who spoke Old Norman and ultimately developed an English variety of this called Anglo-Norman. These two invasions caused English to become "mixed" to some degree (though it was never a truly mixed language in the strictest sense of the word; mixed languages arise from the cohabitation of speakers of different languages, who develop a hybrid tongue for basic communication).with the Scandinavians resulted in a significant grammatical simplification and lexical enrichment of the Anglo-Frisian core of English; the later Norman occupation led to the grafting onto that Germanic core of a more elaborate layer of words from the Romance branch of the European languages. This Norman influence entered English largely through the courts and government. Thus, English developed into a "borrowing" language of great flexibility and with a huge vocabulary.
and accents vary amongst the four countries of the United Kingdom, as well as within the countries themselves.major divisions are normally classified as English English (or English as spoken in England, which comprises Southern English dialects, West Country dialects, Midlands English dialects and Northern English dialects), Welsh English (not to be confused with the Welsh language), and Scottish English (not to be confused with the Scots language). The various British dialects also differ in the words that they have borrowed from other languages.
are many different accents and dialects throughout England and people are often very proud of their local accent or dialect. However, accents and dialects also highlight social class differences, rivalries, or other associated prejudices -as illustrated by George Bernard Shaw's comment:is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him.the English language in England ("English English"), three major dialect groupings are recognized: Southern English dialects, Midlands English dialects, and Northern English dialects. The most prominent isogloss is the foot-strut split, which runs roughly from mid-Shropshire (on the Welsh border) to south of Birmingham and then to The Wash. South of the isogloss, in the Midlands and Southern dialects, the Middle English phoneme /ʊ/ split into /ʌ/ (as in cut, strut) and /ʊ/ (put, foot); this change did not occur north of the isogloss.accent best known to many people outside the United Kingdom as English English, is that of Received Pronunciation (RP). Until recently, RP English was widely considered to be more educated than other accents and was referred to as the Queen's (or King's) English, or even "BBC English" (because for many years of broadcasting it was rare to hear any other dialect on the BBC), even though this was not the accent held by the majority of English people. Since the 1970s regional accents have become increasingly accepted in mainstream media, and are frequently heard. RP is also sometimes called "Oxford English", and the Oxford Dictionary gives RP pronunciations for each word.English speakers can often tell quite accurately where a person comes from, frequently down to within a few miles. Historically, such differences could be a major impediment to understanding between people from different areas. There are also many cases where a large city has a very different accent from the rural area around it (e.g. Bristol and Avon, Hull and the East Riding, Liverpool and Lancashire). But modern communications and mass media have reduced these differences in some parts of the country. Speakers may also change their pronunciation and vocabulary, particularly towards Received Pronunciation and Standard English when in public.Isles varieties of English, including English English, are discussed in John C. Wells (1982). Some of the features of English English are that:
Most versions of this dialect have non-rhotic pronunciation, meaning that [r] is not pronounced in syllable coda position. Nonrhoticism is also found elsewhere in the English speaking world, including in Australian English, New Zealand English, and South African English, as well as most nonnative varieties spoken throughout the Commonwealth of Nations. Rhotic accents exist in the West Country, parts of Lancashire, the far north of England and in the town of Corby, both of which have a large Scottish influence on their speech.
As noted above, Northern versions of the dialect lack the foot-strut split, so that there is no distinction between /ʊ/ and /ʌ/, making put and putt homophones as /pʊt/.
In the Southern varieties, words like bath, cast, dance, fast, after, castle, grass etc. are pronounced with the long vowel found in calm (that is, [ɑː] or a similar vowel) while in the Midlands and Northern varieties they are pronounced with the same vowel as trap or cat, usually [a]. For more details see Trap-bath split. There are some areas of the West Country that use [aː] in both the TRAP and BATH sets. The Bristol area, although in the south of England, uses the short [a] in BATH.
Many varieties undergo h-dropping, making harm and arm homophones. This is a feature of working-class accents across most of England, but was traditionally stigmatised (a fact the comedy musical My Fair Lady was quick to exploit) but less so now. This was geographically widespread, but the linguist A.C. Gibson stated that it did not extend to the far north, nor to East Anglia, Essex, Wiltshire or Somerset. In the past, working-class people were often unsure where an h ought to be pronounced, and, when attempting to speak "properly", would often preface any word that began with a vowel with an h (e.g. "henormous" instead of enormous, "hicicles" instead of icicles); this was referred to as the "hypercorrect h" in the Survey of English Dialects, and is also referenced in literature (e.g. the policeman in Danny the Champion of the World).