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". 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. 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.
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English language in England:
- Scottish English comprising varieties based the Standard English of England.
- Scots is either considered one of the ancient varieties of English with its own distinct dialects or a distinct Germanic language separate from (Scottish) English.
Isle of Man
Republic of Ireland
- Dublin 4 (D4)
- Inner city
- Suburban Dublin
- Limerick city
- North East
- Sligo town
- Waterford city
- Wexford town
Ulster Scots dialects in Donegal (See Scots above.)
North American English
- Cultural and ethnic American English
- General American English
- Regional and local American English
- Eastern New England
- Southeast super-region
- Mid-Atlantic (Delaware Valley)
- North Midland: Omaha, Lincoln, Columbia, Springfield, Muncie, Columbus, etc.
- South Midland: Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Topeka, Wichita, Kansas City, St. Louis (in transition), Decatur, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Dayton, etc.
- "Hoi Toider"
- New Orleans
- New York City
- North Central (Upper Midwestern): Brockway, Minot, Bismarck, Bemidji, Chisholm, Duluth, Marquette, etc.
- Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh)
- Extinct or near-extinct American English
Indigenous North America
Native American English dialects:
Central and South America
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
- Standard Indian English
- Indian English: the "standard" English used by administration and educated peoples.
- Regional and local Indian English
- East Region
- West Region
- North Region
- South Region
Australian English (AusE, AusEng):
New Zealand English (NZE, NZEng) (similar to Australian English and British English):
Pidgins and creoles exist which are based on, or incorporate, English, including Chinook Jargon (a mostly extinct trade language), American Indian Pidgin English, and Manglish (Malaysian English-Malay-Chinese-Tamil).
A pan-Asian English variation called Globalese has been described.
Several constructed languages exist based on English, which have never been adopted as a vernacular. Language scholars have stated that constructed languages are "no longer of practical use" with English as a de facto global language.
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.
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.
- ^ Wakelin, Martyn Francis (2008). Discovering English Dialects. Oxford: Shire Publications. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-7478-0176-4.
- ^ Crystal, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, Cambridge University Press, 2003
- ^ JC Wells, Accents of English, Cambridge University Press, 1983, page 351
- ^ A.J. Aitken in The Oxford Companion to the English Language, Oxford University Press 1992. p.894
- ^ a b Hickey, Raymond (2005). Dublin English: Evolution and Change. John Benjamins Publishing. pp. 196–198. ISBN 90-272-4895-8.
- ^ 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)
- ^ Daniel Schreier, Peter Trudgill. The Lesser-Known Varieties of English: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press, Mar 4, 2010 pg. 10
- Hickey, Raymond (ed.) (2004). Legacies of Colonial English. Studies in Transported Dialects. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521175074.
- Hickey, Raymond (ed.) (2010). Varieties of English in Writing. The Written Word as Linguistic Evidence. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. ISBN 9789027249012.
- Hickey, Raymond (2014). A Dictionary of Varieties of English. Malden, MA: Wiley- Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-470-65641-9.
- "English Language§Varieties of English", Encyclopædia Britannica (Fifth ed.), Vol. 6 Earth–Everglades, pp. 883–886, 1974
- Bolton, K. (2002), Hong Kong English: Autonomy and Creativity, Asian Englishes Today, Hong Kong University Press, ISBN 978-962-209-553-3, retrieved 2015-10-22
- Crystal, David (2003). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (Second ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 109. ISBN 0-521-53033-4. Retrieved 2006-07-20.
- Fischer, Steven Roger (2004), History of Language, Reaktion Books, ISBN 978-1-86189-594-3
- Okrent, A. (2010), In the Land of Invented Languages: A Celebration of Linguistic Creativity, Madness, and Genius, Spiegel & Grau Trade Paperbacks, ISBN 978-0-8129-8089-9
- Nunan, David (2012), What Is This Thing Called Language?, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 978-1-137-28499-0