Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Other American Dialects

When we discuss ‘American dialects,’ we usually focus on English. And yet there are many other languages that have taken up root in the United States, a country with no real official tongue. Have non-English languages exhibited the same variety? … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , | 5 Comments

The -lect in Idiolect

When we discuss idiolects (the speech patterns or ‘dialect’ of a single person), it’s easy to focus exclusively on pronunciation. How we say something, with all those nuances of vowel placement and intonation, seems to exhibit more variety than what we say. … Continue reading

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Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Inmigration

Can you get a feel for the local dialect of a city just by visiting there? The answer varies by city. There are towns like London or Liverpool where the accent is so pervasive that it would be hard to … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged | 22 Comments

The Importance (or not?) of Vowels

Linguist Will Styler has a smart, funny website titled ‘The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Vowels.‘ In the page ‘The Anti-Vowel Agenda,’ he elucidates his gripe: Yet every day, vowels are bought and sold on national television, subjected … Continue reading

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Posted in English Phonetics | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

‘Hey!’ and its Variants

The word ‘hey’ has been around for a good thousand years or so (probably more). A remarkably versatile little word, it can be used in American English in any number of contexts. For example, to express annoyance: “Hey! Stop doing … Continue reading

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Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments