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.