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Accents of English. By John C. Wells. 3 vols. 1. An introduction, pp. xx + 277; 2. The British Isles, pp. xx + 277-465; 3. Beyond the British Isles, pp. xx + 467- 673. Cambridge England, London, New York, New Rochelle. Melbourne and Sydney: Cambridge University Press, 1982

Accents of English. By John C. Wells. 3 vols. 1. An introduction, pp. xx + 277; 2. The British Isles, pp. xx + 277-465; 3. Beyond the British Isles, pp. xx + 467- 673. Cambridge England, London, New York, New Rochelle. Melbourne and Sydney: Cambridge University Press, 1982

Abstract

Accents of English. By John C. Wells. 3 vols. 1. An introduction, pp. xx + 277; 2. The British Isles, pp. xx + 277-465; 3. Beyond the British Isles, pp. xx + 467- 673. Cambridge [England], London, New York, New Rochelle. Melbourne and Sydney: Cambridge University Press, SAGE Publications, Inc.1983DOI: 10.1177/007542428301600112 Raven I. JRMcDavid University of Chicago Accents of English is a formidable and indispensable work. Even those who, like me, disagree with some of Wells's linguistic churchmanship must admire the scope and depth of his accomplishment. The magnitude of the work creates a dilemma for the reviewer: to call attention while it is fresh, he must be brief and possibly superficial; to attempt a treatment in depth will make him late in attesting the significance, and probably lead to an excessively long discussion, like Sledd's 1964 review of Bloomfield-Newmark 1963. I have chosen the former course. The title reflects British tradition: an accent is a regional or social variety of a language, set off by differences in pronunciation; a dialect involves differences in grammar and lexicon as well (Americans use accent very loosely; popularly it seems to involve suprasegmentals and paralanguage, as in the song "Pardon my
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