5.5 dialects

River Smith

  • dialects are regional variations of language.
  • American and british dialects differ in vocabulary,spelling,pronunciation.
Mapping How Americans Talk - Soda vs. Pop vs. Coke

This article is about dialects of spoken and written languages. For other uses, see Dialect (disambiguation).

The term dialect (from Latin dialectus, dialectos, from the ancient Greek word διάλεκτος diálektos, "discourse", from διά diá, "through" and λέγω legō, "I speak") is used in two distinct ways to refer to two different types of linguistic phenomena.

One usage—the more common among linguists—refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers.[1] Despite their differences, these varieties known as dialects are closely related and most often mutually intelligible, especially if close to one another on the dialect continuum. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors, such as social class or ethnicity.[2] A dialect that is associated with a particularsocial class can be termed a sociolect, a dialect that is associated with a particular ethnic group can be termed as ethnolect, and a regional dialect may be termed a regiolect.[3]According to this definition, any variety of a given language constitutes "a dialect", including any standard varieties. In this case, the distinction between the "standard language," or the "standard" dialect of a particular language, and the "nonstandard" dialects of the same language is often arbitrary and based on social, political, cultural, or historical considerations.[4][5][6] In a similar way, the definition of the terms "language" and "dialect" may also overlap and are often subject to debate, with the differentiation between the two classifications often grounded in arbitrary and/or sociopolitical motives.[7]

English Dialects in the US

What’s the difference between a language and a dialect? Is there some kind of technical distinction, the way there is between a quasar and a pulsar, or between a rabbit and a hare? Faced with the question, linguists like to repeat the grand old observation of the linguist and Yiddishist Max Weinreich, that “a language is a dialect with an army and a navy.”

But surely the difference is deeper than a snappy aphorism suggests. The very fact that “language” and “dialect” persist as separate concepts implies that linguists can make tidy distinctions for speech varieties worldwide. But in fact, there is no objective difference between the two: Any attempt you make to impose that kind of order on reality falls apart in the face of real evidence

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All of them are simply dialects—even though the ones on the ends are not mutually intelligible and don’t feel like the same “language” to their speakers. Speech worked this way from village to village across Western Europe until recently, when unwritten, rural dialects started steadily disappearing.