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Dialect

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The term dialect (from the ancient Greek word Διάλεκτος diálektos, "discourse", from διά diá, "through" + λέγω legō, "I speak") is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers.[1] The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors, such as social class.[2] A dialect that is associated with a particular social class can be termed a sociolect, a dialect that is associated with a particular ethnic group can be termed as ethnolect, and a regional dialect may be termed a regiolect or topolect. The other usage refers to a language that is socially subordinate to a regional or national standard language, often historically cognate to the standard, but not a variety of it or in any other sense derived from it.[citation needed ] A framework was developed in 1967 by Heinz Kloss, Ausbau-, Abstand- and Dach-sprache, to describe speech communities, that while unified politically and/or culturally, include multiple dialects which though closely related genetically may be divergent to the point of inter-dialect unintelligibility. A dialect is distinguished by its vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation (phonology, including prosody). Where a distinction can be made only in terms of pronunciation (including prosody, or just prosody itself), the term accent is appropriate, not dialect. Other speech varieties include: standard languages, which are standardized for public performance (for example, a written standard); jargons, which are characterized by differences in lexicon (vocabulary); slang; patois; pidgins or argots. The particular speech patterns used by an individual are termed an idiolect.

Contents
1 Standard and non-standard dialect 2 Dialect or Language 3 Political factors 3.1 Germany 3.2 Ukraine 3.3 The Balkans 3.4 Lebanon 3.5 USA 3.6 Moldova 3.7 China 3.8 Philippines 4 Historical linguistics 4.1 Interlingua 5 Selected list of articles on dialects 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

The status of language is not solely determined by linguistic criteria.[citation needed ] From this perspective. However. and textbooks that set forth a correct spoken and written form. if the speakers of the given language do not have a state of their own. if language X is referred to as a dialect. non-fiction. The distinction is therefore subjective and depends on the user's frame of reference. but is not the beneficiary of institutional support. Those who identify a particular dialect as the "standard" or "proper" version of a language are seeking to make a social distinction.e. Most of the government's higher officials and school teachers do not have adequate Putonghua proficiency. Language varieties are often called dialects rather than languages: if they have no standard or codified form. Standard American English. Standard Canadian English. this implies the speaker considers X a dialect of some other language Y. has a complete vocabulary. most of the population has not yet learned Putonghua. Dialect or Language There is no universally accepted criterion for distinguishing a language from a dialect . For example.). Anthropological linguists define dialect as the specific form of a language used by a speech community. if they lack prestige with respect to some other. A number of rough measures exist. published grammars. However. and an extensive formal literature that employs that dialect (prose. Romansh came to be a written language. i. grammar. but it is also the result of a historical and political development. There may be multiple standard dialects associated with a single language. Standard Australian English. presentation as being the "correct" form of a language in schools. Native-language education in the post-colonial period has largely reduced proficiency in English. whose variations such as . if they are rarely or never used in writing (outside reported speech). like a standard dialect. dictionaries. often standardised. languages are dialects and vice versa. Some linguists[3] do not differentiate between languages and dialects. and Standard Philippine English may all be said to be standard dialects of the English language. where Cantonese is the de facto officially spoken language because most of the people cannot speak Putonghua. A nonstandard dialect. and syntax. etc. Western Australian English and Scouse. Note also that the terms are not always treated as mutually exclusive. Standard Indian English.[citation needed ] there is not necessarily anything contradictory in the statement that "the language of the Pennsylvania Dutch is a dialect of German". even though it is very close to the Lombardic alpine dialects. Such institutional support may include government recognition or designation. sometimes leading to contradictory results. everyone speaks a dialect. The Dialect Test was designed by Joseph Wright to compare different English dialects with each other. Another example is the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. and therefore it is recognized as a language. Examples of a nonstandard English dialect are Southern American English.Standard and non-standard dialect A standard dialect (also known as a standardized dialect or "standard language") is a dialect that is supported by institutions. variety. An opposite example is the case of Chinese. Often the standard language is close to the sociolect of the elite class. poetry.

despite their mutual unintelligibility. This is illustrated by the frequency with which the army-navy aphorism is cited. 方言 fāngyán. meanwhile several such ideas were proven false. (including Frisian and Low Saxon ones. that are closer to Dutch)[citation needed ] the vast majority of German speakers still believe.[citation needed ] See also Mesoamerican languages and Sarkar's criteria on dialects. A group speaking a separate "language" is often seen as having a greater claim to being a separate "people". The significance of the political factors in any attempt at answering the question "what is a language?" is great enough to cast doubt on whether any strictly linguistic definition. has made the distinction between "language" and "dialect" an issue of great political importance. and can lead to great political controversy. which must content itself with regional autonomy. part of a bigger people. a vague myth of some common Germanic original language developed. Since Soviet times. p. while a group speaking a "dialect" tends to be seen not as "a people" in its own right. was mistranslated as "dialect" because it meant "regional speech". Germany In 18th and 19th century Germany.[citation needed ] Linguistic. because the word for them in Mandarin.[4] which had at least in part been shaped as a compromise or mediative language between these local languages. The Balkans . all diverse West Germanic local languages under the Standard German umbrella are collectively referred to as "German dialects".Mandarin and Cantonese are often called dialects and not languages. To support the intended process of nation building even further.[citation needed ] The distinction between language and dialect is thus inevitably made at least as much on a political basis as on a linguistic one. and thus to be more deserving of its own independent state. without a socio-cultural approach. 13. when Ukrainians were recognised as a separate nationality deserving of its own Soviet Republic. historic and archeological evidence for such connections is scarce. The Yiddish linguist Max Weinreich published the expression.1. but as a sub-group. such linguistic-political claims had disappeared from circulation. and German dialectology began to name dialect groups after presumed and real groups of historic tribes having existed from BC to about 600 AD. yet they lead to several pertaining misnomers in German dialectology. A shprakh iz a dialekt mit an armey un flot (‫"א‬ ַ "‫​שפּראַך איז אַ דיאַלעקט מיט אַן אַרמײ און פֿלאָט‬ "A language is a dialect with an army and navy") in YIVO Bleter 25. is possible. they were variations of "original" or even Standard German. Political factors Modern Nationalism. or even armed conflict. several thousand local languages of the continental west Germanic dialect continuum were reclassified as dialects of modern New High German although the vast majority of them were (and still are) mutually incomprehensible. Ukraine In the 19th Century. despite the fact that they all existed long before New High German. from which they were assumed to have descended. the Tsarist Government of Russia claimed that Ukrainian was merely a dialect of Russian and not a language in its own right. Today. 1945. as developed especially since the French Revolution.

If the ruling elites in the different Arab countries had possessed the political will to cut themselves off from each other. For political reasons. are being treated by some linguists from the region as distinct languages. the Arab countries prefer to give preference to the Literary Arabic which is common to all of them. the Qur'an. cultural and religious life in it (adherence to Islam). USA Such moves may even appear at a local. Lebanon In Lebanon. This is. whereas the standard languages of Serbia and Croatia. however. Moldova There have been cases of a variety of speech being deliberately reclassified to serve political purposes. rather than a federal level. The US state of Illinois declared "American" to be the state's official language in 1923. and in 2003 a Moldovan–Romanian dictionary was published. in adherence to the ideas of Arab Nationalism. (The Serbo-Croatian language article deals with this topic much more fully. the Moldovan parliament. largely because the two countries oscillate from being brotherly to being bitter enemies. and lost by Phoenician (and Hebrew) in the second millennium BC. and the view in the Republic of Macedonia which regards it as a language in its own right. and Serbian and Croatian. The varieties of Arabic are considerably more different from each other than many European languages.in Lebanon itself as in the Arab World as a whole. However. are almost universally regarded as dialects of a single language. spoken by close political and military allies. because Literary Arabic is the liturgical language of Islam and the language of the Islamic sacred book. although mutually intelligible with Bulgarian." rejected a proposal from President Mircea Snegur to change the name of the language to Romanian. This difference is especially large between the variants of Arabic spoken in North Africa (Maghreb) from those of the Middle East (the Mashriq in the broad definition including Egypt and Sudan). a fiercely nationalistic (mainly Christian) political party which opposes the country's ties to the Arab world.The classification of speech varieties as dialects or languages and their relationship to other varieties of speech can thus be controversial and the verdicts inconsistent.) Similar examples abound. which differ from each other to a similar extent as the dialects of English. along with numerous other varieties. citing fears of "Romanian expansionism. purporting to show that the two countries speak different . Nevertheless. analyzing these varieties as "languages" or "dialects" yields inconsistent results: British and American English. One example is Moldovan. and refrain from declaring each country's specific variety to be a separate language. and has even advocated replacing the Arabic alphabet with a revival of the ancient Phoenician alphabet.[citation needed ] which lacks a number of characters to write typical Arabic phonemes present in Lebanese. is agitating for "Lebanese" to be recognized as a distinct language from Arabic and not merely a dialect. in most sources in and out of Bulgaria before the Second World War. before the establishment of a literary standard of Macedonian in 1944. certain dialects of Serbian and to a lesser extent the rest of the South Slavic dialect continuum is considered by Bulgarian linguists to be a Bulgarian dialect. Macedonian. respectively). conduct much of their political. English and Serbo-Croatian each have two major variants (British and American English. In 1996. very much a minority position . the southern Slavonic dialect continuum covering the area of today's Republic of Macedonia were referred to as Bulgarian dialects.[5] although linguists and politicians throughout much of the rest of the country considered American simply to be a dialect. the right-wing Guardians of the Cedars. they could easily have made the case to declare their own varieties of Arabic as separate languages. English and Serbo-Croatian illustrate the point. in contrast with the contemporary international view.

Italian and Spanish have undergone less change than French. this pattern is clearly present among the modern Romance tongues. Moreover. with the result that some native speakers of Italian and Spanish may attain a degree of mutual comprehension that permits extensive communication. the head of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova. French-Italian and French-Spanish relative mutual incomprehensibility is due to French having undergone more rapid and more pervasive phonological change than have Spanish and Italian. It sees genetic relationships as paramount: the "dialects" of a "language" (which itself may be a "dialect" of a yet older tongue) may or may not be mutually intelligible. as well as the existence of significant bodies of literature in each of the major "dialects" and daily newspapers in some. Tok Pisin as a dialect of English. Philippines In the Philippines. However. while in Moldova. In one opinion. some family relationships. which are no longer used in either Spanish or Portuguese. described the dictionary as a politically motivated "absurdity". modern Greek as a dialect of Ancient Greek. Historical linguistics Many historical linguists view any speech form as a dialect of the older medium of communication from which it developed. Ion Bărbuţă. Linguists of the Romanian Academy reacted by declaring that all the Moldovan words were also Romanian words. yet most of those words are completely different in Spanish. which neither language shares with French.[citation needed ] Interlingua Main article: Interlingua . Spanish only retains "haber" and has done away with "ser" in forming compound tenses. despite some claiming that both languages are genetically closer to French than to each other:[citation needed ] In fact.languages. This paradigm is not entirely problem-free. This can give rise to the situation in which two dialects (defined according to this paradigm) with a somewhat distant genetic relationship are mutually more readily comprehensible than more closely related dialects. when it comes to phonological structures. Italian and French share many more root words in common that do not even appear in Spanish. For example. with some "branches" of the tree changing more rapidly than others. with Italian and Spanish having a high degree of mutual comprehensibility. not to real or imagined distance in genetic relationship. the Italian and French words for various foods. the Commission on the Filipino Language declared all the indigenous languages in the Philippines as dialects[citation needed ] despite the great differences between them. In fact. China Main article: Varieties of Chinese the spoken languages of the Han Chinese are usually referred to as dialects of one Chinese language despite their vast differences. and Scandinavian languages as dialects of Old Norse. Italian "avere" and "essere" as auxiliaries for forming compound tenses are used similarly to French "avoir" and "être".[citation needed ] This point of view sees the modern Romance languages as dialects of Latin. a parent language may spawn several "dialects" which themselves subdivide any number of times. and body parts are very similar to each other.

Portuguese. that the vocabulary of Interlingua extends beyond the Western language families. Cypriot Turkish Danish dialects Dialect of Chalkidiki Dialects in Serbia.[6] This has often turned out to be true. but not solely. especially.One language. without prior study. for speakers of the Romance languages and educated speakers of English. Interlingua. speakers of the Western languages would understand written or spoken Interlingua immediately. Researchers at the International Auxiliary Language Association extracted words and affixes that they considered to be part of Interlingua's vocabulary.[8] It should be noted. In one study. and Italian that students of those languages found too difficult to understand. was developed so that the languages of Western civilization would act as its dialects.[7] In theory.[7] Selected list of articles on dialects Arabic Bengali dialects Catalan dialect examples Connacht Irish. Croatia and Bosnia Dialects of the French language Dutch dialects German dialects Isfahani. Swedish high school students learning Interlingua were able to translate passages from Spanish. Munster Irish. linguists developed a theory that the modern Western languages were actually dialects of a hidden or latent language. Yazdi (Persian dialects) Italian dialects Japanese dialects Korean dialects List of Assyrian tribes (dialects) List of Chinese dialects List of dialects of the English language Norwegian dialects Portuguese dialects Rauma dialect (Finnish) Sicilian language Slovenian dialects Spanish dialects and varieties Sri Lankan Tamil dialects Swedish dialects Warsaw dialect (Polish) Yiddish dialects Nahuatl dialects See also Accent Chronolect Creole language Dialect levelling Dialectometry Ethnolect Idiolect Isogloss Koiné language Register Literary language . since their own languages were its dialects.[6] Drawing from such concepts as the international scientific vocabulary and Standard Average European. however. Shirazi. Ulster Irish Cypriot Greek. Interlingua has also been found to assist in the learning of other languages.

..interlingua.com) — Compilation of Dialects from around the globe A site for announcements and downloading the SEAL System (http://www. MA. P. External links Sounds Familiar? (http://www.com/homepages/Jwcrawford/american. Language: Its Structure and Use (5th ed. Sheffield: British Interlingua Society. ^ Gopsill. (http://ourworld. a non-profit organization. ^ Finegan. Boston.thedialectdictionary.jp/~chitsuko/english/index. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation. additional terms may apply.). Alice Vanderbilt. Abstandsprache and Dachsprache#Change of roles during history 5.wikipedia. General report (http://www. 348.compuserve. .uk British Dialect Translator (http://www.unii.uk) thedialectdictionary.m-w. By using this site.html) Retrieved from "http://en. 7. ISBN 978-1-4130-3055-6. ^ Merriam-Webster Online dictionary. USA: Thomson Wadsworth.fi/ialagr45. ^ a b Gode. ^ "American" as the Official Language of the United States.edu/idea/) whoohoo. F. p.whoohoo.oed.co. ^ Oxford English dictionary. (http://www. 1951. 1990. 4.uk/soundsfamiliar) — Listen to regional accents and dialects of the UK on the British Library's 'Sounds Familiar' website International Dialects of English Archive Since 1997 (http://web. Interlingua-English Dictionary.org/w/index.Nation language Regional language Sprachbund References 1. ^ see also: Ausbausprache. Inc. New York: Storm Publishers. Alexander. International languages: A matter for Interlingua. (http://dictionary. 1945.com/dictionary/dialect) 3. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Edward (2007).bl. you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.com (http://www.ac. ^ a b Morris.com/cgi/entry/50063104? query_type=word&queryword=dialect&first=1&max_to_show=10&sort_type=alpha&result_place=1&search_id=t FGd-Bh8USU-18775&hilite=50063104) 2.co. 8.htm) 6.ku.php?title=Dialect&oldid=550647367" Categories: Dialects Language Language varieties and styles Lexicology This page was last modified on 16 April 2013 at 14:26. New York: International Auxiliary Language Association.htm#manyrepresented).