Questions tagged [dialects]

Dialects are varieties of a language that differ in systematic ways from each other but are mutually intelligible.

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What is the difference between written dialects, spoken dialects, and writing/encoding schemes?

I am working on a language website and am just encountering the need to specify spoken dialects. I already have a sort of scheme for representing written encodings (like Tibetan wiley romanization ...
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How do new dialects emerge?

When two communities live apart and communicate little with each other, over time some innovations tend to differentiate the respective linguistic varieties until two systematically distinguishable ...
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Difference between language and dialect [duplicate]

What is the difference between a language and a dialect? I can't seem to figure it out. It seems so easy to explain but i can't even explain it to someone, it's a tricky question (for me),
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Where do the "îs" and "îi" forms of "a fi" ( "to be" ) originate in dialectal Romanian?

perhaps the Latin first person singular indicative "sum" with an "î" of uncertain origin? Im not sure about "îi". I guess from the short "e" /je/ form of "...
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Why do people with a British accent make an "r" sound at the end of words ending in an "ah" sound

I'm American so I've seen this in so many movies and just wondering, what's up with that? Example: We will not need those blankets in Russia-r.
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Is there a clear linguistic reason for Swiss German not being considered its own Germanic language?

This question has been inspired by the fact that I’ve recently heard the Swiss talk among each other and I started to dig deeper. Having done minors in Italian and American studies which each included ...
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Full list of ISO-639-6

Is there a full list of codes in ISO-639-6:2009 (Codes for the representation of names of languages — Part 6: Alpha-4 code for comprehensive coverage of language variants) such as a cached mirror or ...
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Sites for collecting and mapping vocab differences within languages

What are the publicly available websites for mapping (and collecting data) on vocabulary differences within a language? For French there is Français de nos régions. For English there is ...
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What to call a "dialect" that forms in a certain setting?

What do you call the language-variation that a group of people speak with each other in a certain setting? It's a language variety that adheres to all the rules and framework of the original language, ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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How does an original proto language produce its daughter languages?

I am trying to understand the principles how a proto language produces it daughter languages, do they proliferate from dialects of the same proto language or do they proliferate from dialects of other ...
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Origin of the English word 'tooth' being pronounced /tʊθ/?

According to Wiktionary, the English word 'tooth' can be pronounced as /tʊθ/ (as opposed to its regular pronunciation in RP of /tuːθ/) in certain areas of Wales and the British Midlands. Is there any ...
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Is there a region in which velarized L is the primary (and sole) articulation? Or is it indicative of an articulation disorder?

Listening to Ira Glass the other day, I noticed his 'l', to my ears, sounds exclusively velar with little to no dental component. Here's a clip (he says the word "like" a couple times in ...
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Examples of languages that should be considered dialects, or dialects that should be considered languages

Are there any examples of languages that are extremely similar but are nonetheless considered to still be separate languages? Or the converse, dialects of one language that are extremely different ...
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Is this Wikipedia Arabic dialects map correct about Badawi Arabic, and what is Badawi Arabic?

This map is from Wikipedia's Varieties of Arabic page. On the northern half of the western Red Sea coast, as well as most of Sinai and Israel, it seems to indicate that "Badawi" Arabic is ...
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Why do even completely illiterate persons, who speak their national language poorly, speak their local dialect with perfection?

Disclaimers: I have no linguistic knowledge whatsoever, I'm just fascinated by these subjects. Also, I will use the word "dialect" due to my lack of a better word, although I see that the ...
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1 vote
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Does anyone actually use /æ/ as an emphatic article?

In the movie "Wayne's World" (1992), Mike Myers's character (the titular Wayne) says "I don't even own æ gun, let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack." To my ears ...
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Differences between free languages and official languages?

In short: as far as I know, English in the USA has no official standards from the government for how it's to be written and used. There are just dictionaries. Spanish however, has the RAE, which is an ...
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Is language change universal, ongoing, and arbitrary?

Learning that arbitrariness from Saussure means there is no logical connection between the sound of morpheme and its meaning. But can we brain storm about this topic a little bit? When it comes to ...
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4 votes
5 answers
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Why does Russian not vary from region to region?

We know that English varies from one country to another. Even within US, there are different accents (Baltimore, Texas, Kentucky, New York, etc). But why Russian does not vary despite the large ...
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1 vote
4 answers
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What is it called when a person pronounces the letter t in the word "metal" as something more similar to a d sound?

What is it called when a person pronounces the letter t in the word "metal" as something more similar to a d sound? And what is it called when a person stresses the t in the word "metal" to be more ...
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3 votes
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Are there any recent studies on vowels of PRS?

Consonants and their phenomena are well studied for PRS (Puerto Rican Spanish). However, vowels and their phenomena are less well known. Known vowel phenomena in the dialect are unstressed/final vowel ...
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6 votes
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Are consonants more stable than vowels?

I was trying my hand at an exercise to distinguish the different Sámi dialects (the exercise was used in the 2020 version of the Dutch Linguistics Olympiad). It gives nine words in all nine dialects ...
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Northumbrian pronunciation of ge-/gi- prefix and -g suffix

I'm working on a musical setting of Cædmon's Hymn, and I'd like to have the primary setting be in the Northumbrian dialect of its earliest written example (the 737 "Moore" Bede manuscript). I'm ...
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2 answers
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Is there a linguistic term for replacing past tense verb with present tense?

In my dialect of English (North West England), we sometimes use the present tense of a verb when standard English employs the past tense, such as in the sentence below: "I waits for the bus ...
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Cumbrian sources

I'm interested in the cumbrian dialect, but I couldn't find good sources of vocabulary and pontual aspects of its grammar. Also, I was trying to understand the following poem: I'll tell the' We're ...
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Spoken Arabic dictionary/corpus?

Is there an existing corpus or dictionary for different spoken Arabic dialects? I'd like to look up a word (in English or MSA or in a spoken dialect) and find where this word or phrase is spoken (and ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Looking for Spanish varieties/accents

This might not be the right place to ask this, and if so, I apologize. I'm a student conducting research on Spanish varieties and I am wondering if anyone knows where I could find short texts read by ...
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2 votes
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What is a similect?

I'm looking for attested examples of similects in action. The term is relatively new for me. Could someone point me in the right direction? Etymology Coined by Anna Mauranen in a 2012 paper, from ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Difference between dialect levelling and pidgin formation?

So dialect levelling is, in which the speech of a group of people converges towards a common norm, with extreme differences being ironed out. While pidgin is a grammatically simplified means of ...
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What is sentence focus environment?

I am currently reading a chapter about dialect that distinguish dialects according to the alignment that is used in the dialect (alignment such as nominative-accusative, tripartite. etc) I am ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Does the southern pronunciation of Jenny have a triphthong in it?

You know when Forrest Gump yells Jenny's name and it sounds like "Jenneay". I'm wondering if there actually is a triphthong at the end there, or of it is a figment of my imagination. I ...
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How have dialectology surveys changed over the years?

*Apologies for any ill terminology I may use, I'm pretty new to the field I've been working on the transition of dialectology surveys from the traditional methods to the modern ones, now that we not ...
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4 votes
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Is there a name for this type of language divergence and isolation?

In South Australia there is a region called the Barossa Valley. At some point [after WW2? not sure] it was settled by a lot of German farmers who bought land and started dairy farms. They applied ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Where does Texan English derive its l-vocalization?

My English teacher grew up in Texas and unsurprisingly her native dialect is Texan English. I noticed that when intervocalic /l/ is followed by /i/, the /l/ is elided and /y/ takes its place. For ...
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4 votes
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How does the Sankt Goar isogloss work?

The Sankt Goar line crosses the german town of Sankt Goar and separates the dialects that have t in words like wat and dat and the dialects that have s in the corresponding words was and das. Is this ...
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4 votes
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The "th" sound as a plosive in British dialects

I've noticed that the th sound often becomes a plosive sound in Appalachian English. When and how did this phenomenon start?The only case I know where this happens in the british isles is Irish.Does ...
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Data on how people really talk in, for example, West Texas?

My wife and I just watched the movie No Country for Old Men, which is set in West Texas ca. 1980, and I couldn't help feeling that the screenwriter was laying it on a little thick with the regional ...
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7 votes
4 answers
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"Ring species" as dialect continuum?

In biology, ring species is a population of subspecies in a geographically ring-shaped region, where individuals are close (in terms of interbreeding) if they live close to each other, but between the ...
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Pre-Hilalian Hilalian dialects comparaison

What are the main differences between Pre-Hilalian Tunisian dialects ( or any other Maghrebi dialects ) and the Hilalian ones ( Pronunciation , vocabulary ... ) . Let’s take the dialect I speak as an ...
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Use of the definite article in European vs. Brazilian Portuguese

When I started learning Portuguese years ago, all the books I used at the time told me that when using possessive adjectives you also have to put the corresponding definite article in front of the ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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What's the longest extant dialect continuum?

According to jknappen, there's a dialect continuum stretching from Rome to Lisbon without interruption. This is a wonderfully interesting piece of trivia that I wouldn't have believed before seeing ...
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“We was” and other dialectical variants

According to the British Library site, the use of nonstandard forms of past tense expressions like “we was” are common in some English dialects The verb 'to be' has two simple past forms in ...
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4 votes
1 answer
501 views

Which dialect/accent of English has the most/least sounds?

My accent is from New York City, yet I wonder which area has the most or least sounds in their phonemic inventory. While one may have the most vowels and another the most consonants, I would like to ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Are there established linguistic theories which incorporate the concept of "lazy speech"?

Motivation So on EL&U, I pretty often encounter the claim, under a question of some usage or other, that certain usages are the consequence of "lazy speakers", who "would otherwise" use some (...
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6 votes
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What ways do you know to encourage people to come up with different ways of saying the same thing?

Question: What ways do you know to encourage people to come up with different ways of saying the same thing? Background: I'm working on a project where my goal is to get variants of utterances as a ...
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3 votes
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Is there a term when two words have swapped definitions in one language or dialect compared to another?

My Peruvian friend informed me that a lemon is called "lima" in Peru while a lime is called "limón". This contrasts with some other Spanish dialects that use the word "limón" for lemon and "lima" for ...
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Is it plausible there will be an established form of European English in the future?

What is more probable: A) there will be an established form of European English in the future that will differ slightly from British or American English? Or B) the English dialects in the world ...
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Is the voiceless alveolar affricate, [t͡s], phonetically present in General American?

I've run into a lot of sources that indicate [t͡s] is not in GA. While this might be true phonemically, I don't entire believe this to be true for the actual phonetics. By the definition of an ...
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5 votes
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How different are Chinese dialects?

How different are Chinese dialects, on average, relative to the differences between European languages? Are the dialects spoken in Western and Eastern China as different as, say, Russian and Polish, ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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Conflation of language dialects and phonology

The main idea behind this questions is that I have some difficulty to accept that a certain language can be a dialect of another one by simply basing that argument on the similarity of the vocabulary ...
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