chapter  TWO
27 Pages

The Cockney Dialect

WithLewis Herman, Marguerite Shalett Herman

Since most of the Cockney vowels are elongated into diphthongs and triphthongs, the resulting rhythm tends to be choppy. The slow tempo of the Cockney dialect has a leavening effect on the erratic rhythm. Generally speaking, Cockney is delivered in a high-pitched voice. There is a great deal of inflection in the Cockney dialect, especially with certain vowels. The long "o" for example becomes "AOW" (this is discussed fully in the section on "Vowel Changes") and often this triphthong takes several notes. The glottal stop should not be used too often— although many Cockneys use it consistently— because it can make a dialect unintelligible. Since the Cockney dialect is spoken with haphazard pronunciation, it is full of elisions. Cockneys seem to feel that half a word is better than the complete word. The errors in a Cockney's speech make for a grammatical word-color that is distinctly Cockney.