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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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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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The “th” sound in appalachian 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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“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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116 views

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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321 views

“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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160 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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Which sub-dialect /accent of Spanish is the most removed from Northern Spain Spanish?

I imagine the answer to be something like Argentinian Spanish due to the differing double L sounds, or some dialects that pronounce R's as throat sounds (voiceless uvular fricative?) such as some ...
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431 views

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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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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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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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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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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Can the “dialect continuum” phenomenon be recognized from Rome to Lisbon?

A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a spread of language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighbouring varieties differ only slightly, but the differences accumulate over ...
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What is the IPA classification for these sounds?

I'd like to know the classification for these sounds: g, c, z and s as in gitano, trencito, zorro and casa, in Latino American Spanish. For instance, which ones are fricatives, or affricates, etc.
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Calabrian/Sicilian and unstressed e/o

I sorta-kinda was "taught" that Sicilian turns all unstressed "e"s to "i"s and "o"s to "u"s. Then I got to know a couple Calabrian songs whose dialect seemed almost Sicilian, so I extended that ...
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1answer
156 views

Is Occitan a single language or have its different dialects become separate languages?

The Wikipedia page for the language mentions a 'controversy' about whether it is a language, macrolanguage or language family. Is there an official status for the language and what are the arguments ...
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Can Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian be considered linguistically distinct?

I grew up the in the former Yugoslavia, and the language I studied in school was called Serbocroatian, which was spoken in four out of the six republics of the union. When the country fell apart, the ...
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Any other example of “socially stigmatized phoneme” like the “th” sound in some Venetian dialect?

Older people living in some rural areas north of Venice use the voiceless dental fricative /θ/ for many words, like cena "supper" which is pronounced θena, exactly like in Spanish cena (Castilian, not ...
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1answer
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What's this punctuating feature of some peoples' English?

What exactly is the name and nature of this odd bit of consistent yet seemingly redundant English found in many forms of colloquial English: "She gave me dates, she did!" "The little lads ran home, ...
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Why do some English speakers insert a /t/ in ⟨else⟩ and say /ɛlts/?

Some English speakers insert a /t/ absent in standard American English in ⟨else⟩. How did this arise? What’s the mechanism behind it? Is it related to the insertion of a /ks/ in ⟨espresso⟩, as in /...
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Where can I find training data for dialects of Hindi?

I am working on a NLP project that aims at identifying different dialects of Hindi language. My über goal is to generate dialogs in once the program identifies which dialect is given. I tried ...
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373 views

How do linguists differentiate a dialect from a language? [duplicate]

As in how do they decide "X is a separate language from Y, but Z is a dialect of Y." I know there is the old adage "a language is a dialect with an army and a navy", but surely there must be some semi-...
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Minimal Pairs Highlighting the Difference between American and British English

Does anyone have a list of minimal pairs, highlighting the difference between American and British English? Thanks.
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598 views

Are different varieties of German closer to each other than different Slav languages?

Are different varieties of German (e.g. Bavarian and Low German) closer to each other than different Slav languages (e.g. Russian and Polish)? The lexical distance map from https://elms.wordpress.com/...
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1answer
229 views

Is there such a thing as a “neutral dialect”?

It seems every language (that I know, at least) has a dialect that it considers more "neutral" than others. Like General American, for instance. To what extent are these dialects actually more ...
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Are non-spoken elements, such as capitalization and punctuation mark usage, part of the English language?

On the English Language Learners SE meta site, I'm involved in a conversation that I find somewhat bizarre. In the order in which they appear, here are the assertions (paraphrased with supporting ...
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What is the meaning difference between have+V versus bare V?

In some dialects of English, there seems to be a clear(er) difference between past tense verbs with the auxiliary have as in “I have eaten the pie”, and those without, as in “I ate the pie”. The only ...
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Interesting exemplary cases where natural/political boundaries have led to language divergence

I'm looking for nice examples of the influence of natural or political boundaries to dialect divergence for introductory purposes. Generally through some limitations on the ability of people to ...
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439 views

What exactly is the “German Language”

After reading up on this topic on Wikipedia, I am left in confusion. Before I started to read the article I thought that "German" usually refers to standard German. If it is actually defined like ...
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1answer
151 views

What is different about Pacific Northwest English, other than vowels?

Some of the most common differences listed about Pacific Northwest English are phonological in nature, the Mary-merry-marry and cot-caught mergers, for example. I am curious if there are ...
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How do language differences develop? [closed]

What are all the ways a group of people can start to pronounce or say things differently? And what are the factors that can affect those "mutations" apart from a random shift in pronunciation of the ...
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Why is the word “Puyallup” difficult for most English speakers to pronounce? [closed]

Why linguistically the word of the city of Puyallup is difficult for non Seattleites to pronounce? It only contains sounds found in English.
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Filipino versus Tagalog

Is the only difference between Filipino and Tagalog the alphabet used to transcribe the various associated words?-Thanks.
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1answer
581 views

Are British and American English two different dialects?

I'm facing a difficulty in understanding what exactly is a dialect. I've read many definitions, but I need an example in order to understand them. Can we say that British English and American English ...
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297 views

Where did the “ch” (tsh) shound come from in Old French

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Latin letter "c" was adopted in Gaul to represent both the Latin sound "k" and the Gallic dialectical sound "tsh", but later "ch" was used to represent "...
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Can Dari be understood by everyone in Afghanistan?

I was told that in Afghanistan there are two major languages Pashto and Dari, and when you live in Afghanistan you will find that almost all the Afghanistanis could speak Dari and fewer people could ...
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92 views

Accents and dialects

How are dialects formed? Are they always a diverging branch from the main language or can they be the fruit of a converging process between different languages because of cultural pressure? Also, ...
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Can Italians understand dialects such as Ligurian and Venetian?

Can Italians speaking the modern Italian dialect (which is derived from Tuscan) understand old Italian dialects such as Ligurian and Venetian? What would the English analog be? Would it be like ...
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Do dialects without the meet-meat merger neutralize the distinction in some contexts?

For many dialects of English (including my own) multiple historical lexical sets are merged into one "FLEECE" set (this diaphoneme can be represented with IPA /iː/). I've read about the basics of the ...
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1answer
95 views

Symbols to indicate different dialects in text

I'm writing a cross-dialectical description with three distinct dialects, and would like to indicate with a superscript symbol which dialect a given word/phrase comes from to aid the reader. I thought ...
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212 views

Where does my weird way of saying 'no' comes from?

At least in the region of Brazil where I come from (triângulo mineiro, Brazilian Texas I'd say.. we are considered the farmers of the Brazil also because of our accent ) people have a very weird way ...
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Is diphthongising [ʌ] as [ʌɪ] novel or an accent feature?

I have noticed some speakers diphthongising [ʌ] as [ʌɪ]. For example, in Bea Miller’s Young Blood, she pronounces “young blood” as [jʌɪŋ blʌɪd] and “us” as [ʌɪs]. Has this been documented elsewhere? ...
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How distinct do two language varieties need to be in order to consider their alternating usage to be an act of code-switching?

I was recently thinking about code-switching (i.e. switching between languages within a sentence, social exchange, phrase, etc.) Would switching between dialects or accents of the same language under ...
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Globalized mass-media deterring language or dialects differentiation

I was wondering about how strong are the region-wide or country-wide mass-media institutions (be them newspapers or TV channels) as deterrent of language or dialects differentiation. For example, a ...
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How can a Language or a Dialect be incorrect or inferior than some other one?

The question is that can one say that a Language or a Dialect is grammatically incorrect? What if I say, Sanskrit is grammatically incorrect modern Hindi This doesn't make sense. We cannot compare ...