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Bermudian English is a regional accent of English found in Bermuda, a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic. "Standard English is used in professional settings and in writing, while vernacular Bermudian English is spoken on more casual occasions". The Bermudian accent began to develop following settlement in the early 17th century, and retains traits of Elizabethan English.

Casual observers tend to have difficulty in placing the Bermudian accent, as it differs from those that are clearly British, American or Caribbean; they also note that the accent tends to vary between individuals. To Americans, it sounds slightly British, while the British find it more American.

Categorisation


Bermudian English

Bermudian English has been called "one of the most severely underresearched varieties of English". It primarily shows a mixture of traits typical of British English and American English, and is generally classified as a form of American (rather than Caribbean) English. The most detailed scholarly study of Bermudian English, in 1933, stated that this type of speech "would create least remark, if indeed any, between, say, Norfolk, Virginia, and Charleston, South Carolina"; British-Bermudian actor Earl Cameron noted that because the Bermudian accent sounded American, he was able to land a speaking role in 1942. In certain aspects of vocalization, however, Bermudian English is close to some versions of Caribbean English, and some would bracket all these varieties to the broad region of the "English-speaking West Indies".

Characteristics



The accent's most evident characteristic is a variation in letter/sound assignment. The switching of [v] and [w], characteristic of many dialects in Southern England during the 18th and 19th centuries, and of [d] and [dÊ'], when combined with a front vowel, can both be seen in the title of a humorous glossary, "Bermewjan Vurds" (Bermudian Words). The use of [æ] and [É›] is interchangeable and vowels are often elongated.

References


Bermudian English

Bermudian English

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