• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

American Regional Dialects

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

AMERICAN REGIONAL DIALECTS Most languages have dialects, each with a distinctive accent, grammar, vocabulary, and idiom. Although the term usually refers to regional speech, it can be extended to cover differences according to class and occupation. Such terms as regional dialect, social dialect, class dialect, occupational dialect, urban dialect, and rural dialect are all used by linguists. Using a biological foundation, dialects can be described as the result of evolutionary process. The tendency of all languages to change in one detail or another and so develop dialects is restrained only by the need of communication between speakers, and so preserve a common core. Written forms, accompanied by the inculcation of a standard by the social and educational ´┐Żlites of a nation or group of nations, slow the process of change but cannot prevent it. Dialects are in fact often less changeable than the standard; their speakers tend to live in stable communities and to conserve forms of the language which are 'older' in terms of the development of the standard. Such a standard, however, is in origin also a dialect, and in the view of some linguists can and should be called the standard dialect (although for many this phrase is a contradiction in terms). ...read more.

Middle

The New England Dialects These dialects are non-rhotic: dropping r's before consonants and at the end of words. This area is further subdivided into Eastern New England, including Boston and much of Maine, where O and AU shift into an intermediate vowel so that cot and caught are merged. Transitional between Eastern New England and New York, Western New England is less well defined. Providence retains R-dropping, but does not merge O and AU. The New York Dialects New York City has a rather anomalous linguistic situation, in that its local dialect was not reproduced further westward and therefore cannot be fit into any larger regional grouping such as New England or the Midland. Like New England, the dialect is R-dropping; other features are more generally common to the Northeastern seaboard. The Hudson Valley dialect of Albany, though R-preserving, is nevertheless close enough to New York City's to be grouped with it: both of them shared a Dutch linguistic substratum which is now only vestigial. The Great Lakes Dialects Among all the dialect regions, the Great Lakes region is perhaps the most homogenous, since the major cities in this area (Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee) ...read more.

Conclusion

cot for both caught and cot, and the fronting of the long U class, e.g. "ih-oo" in words such as two. Otherwise it appears that the Western dialects were formed primarily from a Midland base, since both groups are similarly conservative in their phonology; in fact it was certainly Midland and Western dialects which were so often lumped together under the catch-all phrase "General American". Westward migration has also carried typically Northern features into the Pacific Northwest, and Southern features into the Southwest: both phonology and lexicon have been affected. Regional dialects are examined by their disposition geographically, although the varieties of English can also be determined by other factors that shape usage, such as age, ethnicity, gender, and social class. Therefore, the inclination of change within the pronunciation of the English language is inevitable. In time, the possibility of transitioning speech is certain and the basis of the English language becomes more distorted and even less unified. Among the differences between dialects are variances in perceived charisma and identity to the national region. Dialect transition, evolution, and crossover are all dependent upon community stability and other outside influence. Differences in enunciation, inflection, and speech amongst Americans act to preservce the distinct and variant cultural identities. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Human Geography section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Human Geography essays

  1. GCSE Geography Settlement Coursework

    The right column represents how far each person travelled and the left column represents the ten people I asked. At the bottom, the average distance travelled is shown, and this is 3.6 miles. The above graph shows the furthest distance and the smallest distance travelled to the Clinton Cards in the Westgate Centre.

  2. Bangor Northern Ireland

    Burgess is a dartboard like shape with the CBD in the middle and Hoyt is a more detailed model with the CBD in the middle. The following describes each model in more detail. 1.3.1 Concentric Model (Burgess) - Functional Zones Central Business District The innermost zone is the Central Business District (CBD).

  1. Research into the American state of Wisconsin

    They do not only have the second most enrolled students in the nation, but also the highest numbers of Ph.D.'s per capita. It looks like a city but basically all of the buildings in the picture are the university's campus.

  2. What should planners in the new Millenium learn from the redevelopment of the London ...

    Others supported the LDDC as they felt that it solved the big problem caused by the docks effectively, and that the cost was not too high. The unemployment rate in the area was high, and the young people were leaving, as there were no opportunities for them at the Docks.

  1. Case Studies - Population, Settlement, Industry and Environment

    for tourist use * Tension between local craft vendors, restaurant owners, and large chains Economic * Increased job opportunities-1 in every 9 Jamaicans works in travel and tourism * Taxes provide money for development * Direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP was JMD100 billion in 2011 * Tourism

  2. World Cities - notes on the development of Mumbai and other great cities.

    ? Slums will be replaced by modern seven story homes so more people can be housed. ? Those who can prove they have been living in Dharavi since 1995 will receive free accommodation ? The new buildings will have to have infrastructure including roads, water, drainage, schools, industrial estate etc.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work