Dialects are linguistic varieties that may differ in pronunciation, vocabulary, spelling, and other aspects of grammar. For the classification of varieties of English only in of pronunciation, see regional accents of English.

Overview

Dialects can be defined as "sub-forms of languages which are, in general, mutually comprehensible."[1] English speakers from different countries and regions use a variety of different accents (systems of pronunciation) as well as various localized words and grammatical constructions. Many different dialects can be identified based on these factors. Dialects can be classified at broader or narrower levels: within a broad national or regional dialect, various more localised sub-dialects can be identified, and so on. The combination of differences in pronunciation and use of local words may make some English dialects almost unintelligible to speakers from other regions without any prior exposure.

The major native dialects of English are often divided by linguists into three general categories: the British Isles dialects, those of North America, and those of Australasia.[2] Dialects can be associated not only with place but also with particular social groups. Within a given English-speaking country, there is a form of the language considered to be Standard English: the Standard Englishes of different countries differ and can themselves be considered dialects. Standard English is often associated with the more educated layers of society as well as more formal registers.

British and American English are the reference norms for English as spoken, written, and taught in the rest of the world, excluding countries in which English is spoken natively such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand. In many former British Empire countries in which English is not spoken natively, British English forms are closely followed, alongside numerous American English usages that have become widespread throughout the English-speaking world.[3] Conversely, a number of countries with historical ties to the United States tend to follow American English conventions. Many of these countries, while retaining strong British English or American English influences, have developed their own unique dialects, which include Indian English and Philippine English.

Chief among other native English dialects are Canadian English and Australian English, which rank third and fourth in the number of native speakers.[4] For the most part, Canadian English, while featuring numerous British forms, alongside indigenous Canadianisms, shares vocabulary, phonology and syntax with American English, which leads many to recognise North American English as an organic grouping of dialects.[5] Australian English, likewise, shares many American and British English usages, alongside plentiful features unique to Australia and retains a significantly higher degree of distinctiveness from both larger varieties than does Canadian English. South African English, New Zealand English and Irish English are also distinctive and rank fifth, sixth, and seventh in the number of native speakers.

Europe

English language in Europe

Dialects and accents of English spoken in the British Isles.

Great Britain

England

English language in England:

Scotland

Wales

Non-geographic based English

British dependencies and territories

Ireland

Continental Europe

Eastern Europe

Mediterranean

North America

United States

Map of American English.

American English:

Canada

Map of Canadian English.

Canadian English:

Caribbean, Central, and South America

Caribbean

The Bahamas

Barbados

Belize

Bermuda

Cayman Islands

Colombia

Costa Rica

Dominican Republic

Falkland Islands

Guyana

Honduras

Jamaica

Nicaragua

Panama

Puerto Rico

Saba

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Trinidad and Tobago

Turks and Caicos Islands

Virgin Islands

Asia

Bangladesh

Brunei

Myanmar (Burma)

Hong Kong

China

India

Indian English:

Japan

South Korea

Malaysia

Middle East

Nepal

Pakistan

Philippines

Singapore

Sri Lanka

Africa

Cameroon

The Gambia

Ghana

Kenya

Liberia

Malawi

Namibia

Nigeria

Sierra Leone

South Africa

South Atlantic

Uganda

Zambia

Zimbabwe

Oceania

Australia

Australian English

Fiji

New Zealand

New Zealand English: Māori English, Pasifika English, Southland accent, West Coast Irish Catholic accent, Taranaki accent etc.

South Atlantic

World Global English

These dialects are used in everyday conversation almost all over the world, and are used as lingua francas and to determine grammar rules and guidelines.

Antarctica

See also

References

  1. ^ Wakelin, Martyn Francis (2008). Discovering English Dialects. Oxford: Shire Publications. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-7478-0176-4.
  2. ^ Crystal, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, Cambridge University Press, 2003
  3. ^ Filppula, Markku; Klemola, Juhani; Sharma, Devyani, eds. (2013-12-16). "The Oxford Handbook of World Englishes". Oxford Handbooks Online. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199777716.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-977771-6.
  4. ^ The Cambridge History of the English Language. 1999-01-28. doi:10.1017/chol9780521264778.011. ISBN 978-1-139-05365-5. ((cite book)): |website= ignored (help)
  5. ^ Trudgill and Hannah, 2002
  6. ^ a b Hickey, Raymond (2005). Dublin English: Evolution and Change. John Benjamins Publishing. pp. 196–198. ISBN 90-272-4895-8.
  7. ^ Hickey, Raymond (2002). A Source Book for Irish English (PDF). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing. pp. 28–29. ISBN 90-272-3753-0. ISBN 1-58811-209-8 (US)
  8. ^ Daniel Schreier, Peter Trudgill. The Lesser-Known Varieties of English: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press, Mar 4, 2010 pg. 10

Further reading