History of american english

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HISTORY OF AMERICAN ENGLISH
VIDEO ‘PIONEERS! O PIONEERS!´

Section 0: Introduction – The Thirteen Colonies (No video)
1. What are the thirteen colonies? Can you name them? Try to find a map.
2. Briefly explain the type of relation that existed between the Colonies and Britain.

Section 1: Formation of American English.
1. Where and when was the final battle of the War of Independence?2. Who won it? Which historical Treatment was signed?
3. Why was the triumph of this revolution significant for American English development?
4. Who was Thomas Jefferson? Why is important in American History?
5. Why are Thomas Paine and John Adams mentioned?
6. Benjamin Franklin is also mentioned as a Founding Father of the United States. What was his principal profession? Name some of theAmericanisms promoted by Franklin.
7. Who was Noah Webster? What did he compile to popularize American spellings? Name two of these spellings.

Section 2: Canadian English.
1. What were the British soldiers called during the War of Independence?
2. Why did the Tory Loyalists escape to Canada after the war?
3. Has there ever been a war between Canada and the US? When?
4. What did thefleeing Loyalists build to avoid the Niagara Falls?
5. How many Canadian provinces can you name?
6. What are the two basic features that speakers of other dialects notice about Canadian English?

Section 3: Gambler Language – Go West, Young Man!
1. What were the first highways of the new republic?
2. Explain the meaning of “showboat” and “roustabout”.
3. How long is the Mississippi river?
4.Explain how the current meaning of “outlandish” came about.
5. Tell me another expression for “yes”.
6. See how many gambling expressions you can remember from the video.

Section 4: Gold Rush – “To see the elephant”
1. What was the “New Frontier” in the 1830s?
2. What was one of the animals hunted by the solitary mountain men, the French voyageur and the Indian traders?
3. What does theexpression “to be an eager-beaver” mean?
4. Give me the slang expression for the US dollar that was coined during that time. What do you think this expression comes from?
5. When and where was gold discovered?
6. Explain the expressions “to hit paydirt” and “to pan out”
7. The immensity of Gold Rush was compared to the Crusades. Can you explain why?
8. Who were the Forty-niners? What did “seeingthe elephant” symbolize?

Section 5: Far West Cowboys.
1. Is the word “cowboy” an Americanism? Why?
2. Who was Joseph McCoy? And Bill Cody?
3. The contact with Spanish-speaking horse-handlers brought a number of new words into American English. Tell me at least ten of them with their meanings.
4. What does “bite the dust” and “hot under the collar” mean?

Section 6: Tall Talk (No video)1. Why was Tall Talk created?
2. Name the three characteristics of Tall Talk style.
3. Tall Talk characters were created in many areas of the US. As we do not have time to see all of them, focus on four of the following and tell me why they appear in tall tales: Paul Bunyan, John Henry, Davy Crockett, Johnny Appleseed, Old Stormalong.
4. Tell me some Tall Talk expressions or words that existin AE today.

Section 7: Train language.
1. Where and when was the transcontinental train completed?
2. What was the significance of this event in the “leveling” of American English?
3. Name some “Iron Horse” expressions that are still in use in American and World English today.

Section 8: Mark Twain.
1. Mark Twain: what was his importance to American English?.
2. What did he writethat was considered as the second Bible in the US?
3. “I’ve been an author for 20 years, and an ass for 55”. What did he mean with this statement?

Section 9: Migrations in the 20th century.
1. Where was the first check-point for incoming immigrants to the US?
2. On a “good” day, how many immigrants entered per day?
3. Before 1914, what was the second language in importance in the US?...
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