views updated May 21 2018

EAST ANGLIA. A region of England consisting of the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, but also often taken to include Essex and parts of Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire. It has two main urban areas, Norwich in Norfolk and Ipswich in Suffolk, which tend to influence the speech of the areas around them. The regional dialects belong to the MIDLANDS group, but are internally diverse: for example, Essex speech is closer to London varieties than are Norfolk and Suffolk speech. The so-called singing Suffolk accent has a wide pitch range and a high rising intonation at the ends of sentences. Many local accents are marked by a rhythm that tends to lengthen stressed vowels and to reduce or eliminate unstressed short vowels. Although many speakers are influenced by RP and media norms, some generalizations can be made of informal working-class speech: (1) It is non-rhotic. (2) Older, rural speakers tend to distinguish between the vowel sounds in words such as game, grace, and tale (with a long /e/) and words such as bay, bait, and eight (with /æɪ/ or /eɪ/). Younger speakers tend to use /æɪ/ or /eɪ/ for both. (3) Norfolk speakers in particular, especially older people, use two realizations for words that contain /aʊ/ in RP: words such as bone and tone have monophthongal /uː/ or a /ʊu/ diphthong, whereas words such as bowl and tow have /ʌu/. (4) Because of their use of /u/ for /əʊ/, some Norwich speakers have such homophones as soap sounding like soup and boat like boot. (5) The vowel sounds in words such as bare and beer are merged into /ɛ/ or /ɛə/, producing additional homophones. (6) Throughout the region, there tends to be no /j/ in words such as dew, dune. Do and dew are therefore often homophones. The pronunciation ‘bootiful’ for beautiful (with the /t/ often glottalized) is a regional shibboleth. (7) Word-initial /h/ tends to be preserved in Norfolk and Suffolk but not in Cambridgeshire or Essex. (8) Glottal stops are common throughout the area, including the towns; /hæ?/ is a common pronunciation of hat. (9) In older, rural Norfolk speech, /l/ tends to be clear; elsewhere, the clear/dark distinction is similar to RP. (10) In casual speech, the unmarked verb form is often used with all subjects in the present tense: I go; He go. (11) That is often used rather than it in such greetings as That's a cold day!, That's nice now. (12) A feature formerly widespread but now recessive is conditional do: They don't go there; do, they'd have a surprise They don't go there; if they did, they'd get a surprise. (13) Some distinctive rural words can be found, such as hodmadod/dodman a snail, fourses a light afternoon meal (compare elevenses), and neathouse, a shed for neat (cattle). Scandinavian influence was once strong and can still be found, especially in northern Suffolk, where streams continue to be called becks. See DIALECT IN ENGLAND, NEW ENGLAND.

East Anglia

views updated May 18 2018

East Anglia Region of e England, made up of the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, and parts of Cambridgeshire and Essex. It was one of the most powerful Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of the late 6th century. A fertile agricultural land, farming includes grain, vegetables and livestock-raising. Industries: market gardening, tourism and fishing.

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East Anglia

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