Varieties of English

Topics: English language, Dialect, American English Pages: 3 (1221 words) Published: May 10, 2013
In sociolinguistics a variety, also called a lect, is a specific form of a language. This term may include languages, dialects, accents, registers, styles or other sociolinguistic variation, as well as the standard variety itself. The term dialect will be mentioned in this research paper. The term refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. .(Oxford English dictionary) The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors, such as social class. A dialect that is associated with a particular social class can be termed a sociolect, with a particular ethnic group can be termed as ethnolect, and a regional dialect may be termed a regiolect or topolect. This paper will include only regional dialects. Acording Chambers and Trudgill dialects can be regarded as subdivisions of a particular language. (Chambers and Trudgill 1998: 3) A dialect is distinguished by its vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation (phonology, including prosody). Where a distinction can be made only in terms of pronunciation (including prosody, or just prosody itself), the term accent is appropriate, not dialect.(Oxford English dictionary). The distinction between language and dialect presents us a number of dificulties. (Chambers and Trudgill 1998). One way to distinguish these terms is to consider language as a collection of mutually intelligible dialects. This definition has the benefit of characterising dialects as subparts of a language. This characterisation of language and dialect, however, is not entirely successful, and it is relatively simple to think of two types of aparent counterexample. If we consider, first, the Scandinavian languages, we observe that Norvegian, Swedish and Danish are usually considered to be different languages. Unfortunately for our definition, though, they are mutually intelligible. That means that speakers of these three languages can...
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