The differences in pronunciation have been well known since Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers sang Let's Call The Whole Thing Off in the 1937 film Shall We Dance Anyone who has ever taken a ride in an elevator or ordered a regular coffee in a fast food restaurant would be forgiven for thinking that Americanisms are taking over the English language. But new research by linguistic experts at the British Library has found that British English is alive and well and is holding its own against its American rival. The study has found that many British English speakers are refusing to use American pronunciations for everyday words such as schedule, patriot and advertisement.
英式英语和美式英语在发音上的区别、以及在使用上的区别,都是众多英语爱好者们这么多年来,一起探讨探究的问题,不管究竟谁才是真正英语中的主流,谁逐渐占据了英语语言的江山,学者们还是争论不休。但是,美式英语在近些年的流行趋势是显而易见的,这部,美式英语“狂轰滥炸”式的席卷全球,比如:好莱坞大片的泛滥、再比如在高级咖啡厅内不停播放的美式音乐还有带有小资情调的美式口音会让时下的年轻人觉得美国人说的英语才是最好的。但是,来自英国的语言学家近日得出结论,英式英语在逐渐“打败”美式英语登上“正宗英语”的宝座,因为越来越多的学习英语的人正在“抗拒”用美式英语来发音,比如日常用语的简单词汇“schedule”“patriot ”“advertisement”等,英语爱好者都爱用已经被冷落多年的英式发音。

It also discovered that British English is evolving at a faster rate than its transatlantic counterpart, meaning that in many instances it is the American speakers who are sticking to more ‘traditional’ speech patterns. Jonnie Robinson, curator of sociolinguists at the British Library, said: ‘British English and American English continue to be very distinct entities and the way both sets of speakers pronounce words continues to differ. ‘But that doesn’t mean that British English speakers are sticking with traditional pronunciations while American English speakers come up with their own alternatives. ‘In fact, in some cases it is the other way around. British English, for whatever reason, is innovating and changing while American English remains very conservative and traditional in its speech patterns.’As part of the study, researchers at the British Library recorded the voices of more than 10,000 English speakers from home and abroad. The volunteers were asked to read extracts from Mr Tickle, one of the series of Mr Men books by Roger Hargreaves. They were also asked to pronounce a set of six different words which included ‘controversy’, ‘garage’, ‘scone’, ‘neither’, ‘attitude’ and ‘schedule’. Linguists then examined the recordings made by 60 of the British and Irish participants and 60 of their counterparts from the U.S. and Canada. When it came to the word attitude, more than three-quarters of the British and Irish contingent preferred ‘atti-chewed’ while every single participant from the U.S. opted for ‘atti-tood.’ There was an equally pronounced transatlantic clash when it came to the word controversy. Two-thirds of the British and Irish participants favoured a version of the word which emphasised the middle syllable of trov. In stark contrast, all the U.S. participants said a version which stressed the first three letters of the word.
事实上,英式英语的革新速度已经超过了美式英语,根据英国图书馆的社会语言学家Jonnie Robinson说:“关于英语的发音(美式英语和英式英语)的问题和讨论由来已久,而且关于两者的发音的区别越来越明显,并不是说,只有英式英语才能遵循传统发音规则,而美式英语与之相反。事实上,显示中的情况恰恰相反,美式英语在表达上更显得古板和传统。”在针对英国人、爱尔兰人以及美国和加拿大的志愿者关于“英语读音”方面的调查后发现,有四分之三的民众更倾向在读单词的时候用英式英语发音,而在读单词时候的重音音节问题上,美式英语和英式英语也有比较大的差异。三分之二的英国和来自爱尔兰的志愿者比较喜欢在音节的中间部分读重音,而美国的志愿者喜欢在单词前部分读重音。