When studying English it is easy to distinguish British accent from, the more commonly used by non-native speakers, international American accent. There are various aspects of pronunciation that make British accent sounds distinctive. You might not know, though, that nearly forty dialects exist within Great Britain alone. Each dialect can be vastly different from each other. They do not only sound unique. Dialect can also affect the comprehension because people who use certain dialect will speak words in certain manner and even have vocabularies that are only known in that dialect.
In this passage, Surrey accent or dialect will be discussed in greater length. This dialect was originated in a county within southern part of England. Therefore, it is included in the set of Southern English dialects along with Kent, Hertfordshire, and Buckinghamshire. This dialect set is something that people know today as Standard English accent or Received Pronunciation. Nonetheless, the original Surrey accent is still slightly different from that.
It might be better to understand the accent better if we learn about the county first. Surrey is a long standing county with centuries of history. It had endured Roman occupation to Medieval era until current modern England. You can still see the remnants of its history in many buildings and monuments there. Some palaces for royal families were built in Surrey too in Tudor era. That might have affected the development of dialect in that area.
Another important aspect to note about Surrey is its agriculture. The county has several large farms that have been there for generations. These farms have produced dairy products and vegetables that supply food needs in other regions too. The historic and geographical aspects play significant role in how Surrey accent becomes what it is today.
When it comes to the accent, as stated in the previous part, you will not find too glaring of difference with the Standard English pronunciation used widely in the country. The slight gap of pronunciation is not what makes Surrey dialect unique though. The distinctiveness can be seen in the syntax, dictions, and proverbs used by people who are practicing this dialect in their everyday lives.
In the syntax, there are several things that you will not find in Standard English. As an example, people with Surrey accent or dialect will often use double negative in a sentence. You will also be surprised that you will hear “-est” included in most superlatives. In the standard accent, usually the word “most” will be used prior to adjective in question, especially if the adjective has more than two syllables. Such rule does not work in Surrey accent. It is common to find the prefix “a-“ used before participles.
The fact that Surrey is known for its agriculture is also apparent in its accent. You can easily find agriculture-related proverbs used in day to day conversation there. It is because the farming culture is embedded deep into the people’s lives.