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This book will help you understand the unique and ancient Devon dialect and have you talking like a native in no time. The book includes a dictionary to help you develop an altogether new vocabulary, plus a wonderful collection of tales and anecdotes, all chosen to illustrate different aspects of the delightful local dialect.
The English language is now spoken by over 300 million people as a first language with many more using English as a second language, making one in five people across the globe a competent English speaker.
Within our own coastline, there are countless variants of dialect and diversions away from what might be called the Queen’s English. Some have wandered far from the textbooks, with Sir Francis Drake (who himself hailed from Devon) having to appoint a translator to communicate at the court of Elizabeth I.
Devon has a unique set of vocal traditions, many developed because of quirks of geography and others from a complex social demography. Many efforts have been made to record the language traditions of the area and to identify the sources of some of the words that are, or used to be, in common use. This book merely touches the surface.
The first part of this book is an A-Z of words and phrases particular to Devon, with their current or historic meanings and some examples of how they may once have been used. The second part is a collection of anecdotes, stories, rhymes and curiosities, all arranged by theme. The anecdotes may be long or short, complicated or simple, but all contain genuine examples of Devonshire dialect as recorded by historians and collectors over the years.
It is also worth noting that language is constantly evolving and while some of the words noted in this book may not be familiar to current Devonians (although I’d suggest many are gems worth bringing back), new ones will always be developing. I can only hope this book is as much fun to read as it was to research and write.
Released: March 2014
Publisher: Bradwell Books
Size: 180 x 110mm
Author: Ellen Fernau