Basic Variants, Dialects and Vernacular of English

Topics: English language, Dialect, British English Pages: 10 (2241 words) Published: January 23, 2013
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Basic variants, dialects and vernacular of English

Dialects are linguistic varieties which differ in pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar from each other and from Standard English (which is itself a dialect).

Dialects can be usefully defined as "sub-forms of languages which are, in general, mutually comprehensible".[1] British linguists distinguish dialect from accent, which refers only to pronunciation. Thus, any educated English speaker can use the vocabulary and grammar of Standard English, but different speakers use their own local words for everyday objects or actions, regional accent, orReceived Pronunciation, which within the U.K. is considered an accent distinguished by class rather than by region. American linguists, however, include pronunciation differences as part of the definition of regional or social dialects. The combination of differences in pronunciation and use of local words may make some English dialects almost unintelligible to speakers from other regions. The major native dialects of English are often divided by linguists into the three general categories of the British Isles dialects, those of North America and those ofAustralasia.

United Kingdom

British English:


English language in England:

• Northern (In the northeast, local speech is akin to Scots)[2] • Cheshire
• Cumbrian (Cumbria including Barrow-in-Furness)
• Geordie (Tyneside)
• Lancastrian (Lancashire)
• Mackem (Sunderland)
• Mancunian-Salfordian (Manchester & Salford)
• Northumbrian (rural Northumberland)
• Pitmatic (Durham and Northumberland)
• Scouse (Liverpool)
• Yorkshire (also known as Broad Yorkshire) (Spoken in Yorkshire) • East Midlands
• West Midlands
• Black Country English
• Brummie (Birmingham)
• Potteries (north Staffordshire)
• Telford accent
• East Anglian
• Norfolk dialect
• Suffolk dialect
• Southern
• Received Pronunciation (also known as Queen's English (or King's English) or BBC English) • Cockney (working-class London and surrounding areas) • Essex dialect
• Estuary (Thames Estuary)
• Kentish (Kent)
• Multicultural London English (Inner London)
• Sussex
• West Country
• Anglo-Cornish
• Bristolian dialect


• Scottish English
• Highland English
• Glaswegian
• Scots (sister language originating from Middle English) • Doric (North East of Scotland)


• Welsh English
• Cardiff
• Gower

[edit]Northern Ireland

• Mid Ulster English
• Belfast
• Derry
• Ulster Scots
• South Ulster English

[edit]Republic of Ireland

• Hiberno-English
• Dublin
• Cork
• Waterford City
• Kerry and Cork County
• Connacht
• Sligo Town
• Galway City
• Rural Munster (Tipperary, Limerick County, Clare, Waterford) • Limerick City
• North Leinster (Louth and Meath)
• South Leinster (Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Offaly, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow) • Donegal
Isle of Man

• Manx English
Channel Islands

• Guernsey English
• Jersey English
• The term "vernacular English" (like the term "standard English") refers only to syntax. It does not refer to pronunciation or vocabulary choice.

• Vernacular English is associated with varieties of English that are normally spoken, not written. There are no prescribed conventions for vernacular English, and there are few dictionaries or grammars of vernacular English.

• A popular but mistaken view is that vernacular English is the result of carelessness and linguistic degeneracy: that students who say I done it yesterday or What are yous doing? are hastening the decay of the English language and that teachers must stop this perceived decline. When people are asked why they object to I done it yesterday, the usual reply is that it sounds so awful or that it's just...
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