American Dialects Essay

680 words - 3 pages

Not all individuals who speak a specific language communicate that language in the exact same way. A language may be divided into several diverse dialects. Three things are required for a brand new tongue to evolve: the passage of time, a collection of individuals that live near each other, and the segregation of this group from other groups.
Although printed American English is consistent throughout the nation, there are many distinguishable differences in the pronunciation of words in the spoken language, depending on the region of the country. Eastern New England has one of the most distinct American dialects. “The letter ‘R’ is often silent, and ‘A’ is normally pronounced ‘AH,’ so we get ‘Pahk the cah in Hahvuhd yahd’” (Delaney). Unlike Boston and additional urban pronunciations, New York City’s dialect doesn’t show much similarity to the other dialects of the area. New York City’s pronunciation is the most rejected and mocked of all the American dialects. ...view middle of the document...

“‘They a-celebratin' his birfday by a-goin' to see 'Old Yeller' in the theatah’” (Delaney). In the South, people generally tend to communicate their words in a slower fashion, which brought about the creation of the well-known southern drawl. “‘I’ is pronounced ‘AH’, and ‘OO’ is pronounced ‘YOO,’ as in ‘Ah'm dyoo home at fahv o'clock’” (Delaney). For the most part, the southern accents of American English convey an inferior rank in class. However, the New York City accent expresses the worst status of all. The thickness of a person’s accent is linked to that person’s social status. The thicker the accent, the less prestige the person seems to have.
Terminology is the analysis of words and the uses of those words. Terminology helps us to decipher what a certain word means in a specific context, because sometimes the meanings can deviate from everyday language. Terminology can be used to create a similarity between words in different languages. Terminology is also in charge of making new terms, as needed. There are different terms for many words. When referring to a carbonated beverage, the Northeast and West Coast call it “soda,” the Midwest refers to it as “pop,” and the South refers to the beverage by its brand name. When referring to something you might drink out of at school, the South calls it a “water fountain,” the North calls it a “drinking fountain,” but Wisconsin and Rhode Island call it a “bubbler.”
American idioms are closely related to American slang. In most cases a slang word is a term made from different words and used in a distinct way depending on the region. However, an idiom is ordinarily an expression of two or more terms that signify something completely different from the implication of the individual terms. When someone says, “Actions speak louder than words,” they mean to say that what someone actually does is more significant than what they say. “Up the creek without a paddle” is meant to indicate that someone has gotten himself into a serious predicament.
American languages come in many different flavors. The way you speak is influenced from where you were born and what kind of environment you were raised in. The way you communicate is an immediate indication of your social status.

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