English Spelling and Pronunciation

.Last updated: May 10, 2017 at 17:12 pm

speech photoEnglish language pronunciation differs slightly from one geographic region to the other. However, most words are pronounced the same across all English territories.

There are also different “accents” in different regions. For example, there is the “American Accent”, the “British Accent”, the “Canadian Accent” and the “Caribbean Accent”.

Even though the accents of various regions differ, the accentuation of English words are the same. Confusing? Not really. Accentuation refers to which syllable must be stressed in a word. Even though different regions speak with different accents, they must accentuate the correct syllable. If not, then the word would be a “mis-accentuated” word.

In the Caribbean, for example, the word “character” is a good example of a “mis-accentuated” word.

In the Caribbean, the stress is often placed on the second syllable, like this:

cha RACT er.

However, in the United States, Canada and England, the stress is placed on the first syllable:

CHA rac ter.

This goes to show that a different accent does not give us the right to “misaccentuate”.

On the other hand, in some English territories, there are big disputes as to which is the correct pronunciation of a word. For example, in some parts of Britain, the “t” in “often” is silent. In other parts, it is pronounced. In this case, both pronunciations are acceptable, although some people would prefer one over the other.

Here I’ll be covering commonly mis-accentuated English words in the Caribbean, as well as differences in pronunciation between English regions.

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