List of dialects of the English language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is an overview list of dialects of the English language. Dialects are linguistic varieties which may differ in pronunciation, vocabulary, spelling and grammar. For the classification of varieties of English in terms of pronunciation only, see Regional accents of English.

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 localized 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.

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 will often be a form of the language considered to be Standard English – the Standard Englishes of different countries differ, and each can itself be considered a dialect. Standard English is often associated with the more educated layers of society.

Europe

United Kingdom

British English:

England

English language in England:

Scotland

Wales

Northern Ireland

Isle of Man

Channel Islands

Gibraltar

Republic of Ireland

Hiberno-English:

  • Cork
  • Dublin
    • Dublin 4 (D4)
    • Inner city
    • Suburban Dublin
  • Donegal
  • Kerry
  • Limerick city
  • Midlands
  • North East
  • Sligo town
  • Waterford city
  • West
  • Wexford town

Ulster Scots dialects in Donegal (See Scots above.)

Extinct

North America

North American English

United States

American English:

Canada

Canadian English:

Bermuda

Indigenous North America

Native American English dialects:

Central and South America

Belize

Falkland Islands

Guyana

Honduras

Caribbean

Antigua

Anguilla

The Bahamas

Barbados

Jamaica

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Trinidad and Tobago

Asia

Brunei

Burma

Hong Kong

Pakistan

India

Indian English:

Nepal

Malaysia

Philippines

Singapore

Sri Lanka

Africa

Cameroon

Ghana

Kenya

Liberia

Malawi

Namibia

Nigeria

South Africa

South Atlantic

Uganda

Egypt

Oceania

Australia

Australian English (AusE, AusEng):

New Zealand

New Zealand English (NZE, NZEng) (similar to Australian English and British English):

Constructed

Manual encodings

These encoding systems should not be confused with sign languages such as British Sign Language and American Sign Language, which, while they are informed by English, have their own grammar and vocabulary.

Code-switching

The following are portmanteaus devised to describe certain local varieties of English and other linguistic phenomena involving English. Although similarly named, they are actually quite different in nature, with some being genuine mixed languages, some being instances of heavy code-switching between English and another language, some being genuine local dialects of English used by first-language English speakers, and some being non-native pronunciations of English. A few portmanteaus (such as Greeklish and Fingilish) are transliteration methods rather than any kind of spoken variant of English.

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. ^ JC Wells, Accents of English, Cambridge University Press, 1983, page 351
  4. ^ A.J. Aitken in The Oxford Companion to the English Language, Oxford University Press 1992. p.894
  5. ^ a b Hickey, Raymond (2005). Dublin English: Evolution and Change. John Benjamins Publishing. pp. 196–198. ISBN 90-272-4895-8. 
  6. ^ 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) 
  7. ^ Daniel Schreier, Peter Trudgill. The Lesser-Known Varieties of English: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press, Mar 4, 2010 pg. 10

External links

  • Sounds Familiar? Listen to examples of regional accents and dialects from across the UK on the British Library's 'Sounds Familiar?' website
  • A national map of the regional dialects of American English
  • IDEA – International Dialects of English Archive
  • Dialect poetry from the English regions
  • American Languages: Our Nation's Many Voices - An online audio resource presenting interviews with speakers of German-American and American English dialects from across the United States
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