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How many different “English's” are
there?
Language
Ch 5 KI 3
What is happening in this sentence? Is it English?
After changing baby Jane’s nappy, he put on a jumper,
put her in the push chair and walked to the postbox.
Distinguishing between
Languages and Dialects
• Dialect or language
• Increasingly difficult to determine whether two languages are
distinct or whether they are dialects of the same language.
• Several languages in Italy that have been traditionally classified
as dialects of Italian are now viewed by Ethnologue as distinct
enough to merit consideration as a new language.
• Examples include Emiliano-Romagnolo, Liguri, Lombard, and Sicilian.
• Dialects can have unique sounds, speed, syntax (grammatical
arrangement, and vocabulary!
Dialects of English
• A dialect is a regional variation of a language distinguished by
distinctive vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation.
• Sub-forms of languages which are, in general, mutually
comprehensible
• Boundaries of where regional words are used can be mapped; such a word usage
boundary is known as an isogloss.
• Large number of speakers and widespread distribution in the United States has
contributed to the existence of a large number of English dialects.
An
Isogloss is
the
boundary
of a
dialect.
British and American English Dialects
• English language is noticeably different than English
spoken in England (RP) in three ways.
1.
•
•
2.
•
3.
•
Vocabulary
Settlers in America encountered many new objects and experiences
not present in England.
Climate and geography differ significantly between England and
America.
Spelling
Noah Webster sought to make English used in America distinct from
England to reduce cultural dependence by changing spellings of words
in his dictionary.
Pronunciation
Chief cause was limited interaction between speakers of varying
dialects.
Words with different
meanings
• Netflix, Trevor Noah – African American -1:05:30 to – 1:03:
What about American
English?
• http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/12/20/sundayreview/dialect-quiz-map.html?_r=0
Discerning Dialects
• Raindrops
• Michigan, Kansas, New York
• Zoo
• Atlanta , Ontario, London
If it isn’t the
words
themselves…
How do we
know “where
someone is
from?”
The Accent
• A way of pronouncing words that indicates the place of origin
or social background of the speaker.
Auteur
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