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  1. #11
    CHOMAT is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Accent and Regional dialects

    Quote Originally Posted by Linguist__ View Post
    To add to the discussion, 'dialect' is comparable to 'language' more than accent. As was said, accent is merely the sounds.

    A 'language' is a communication system which is idiosyncratic to a group of people, and which can only be understood by those people. So, a person who knows the English language cannot communicate using language to a person who knows the Shona language.

    A 'dialect' is a communication system which is also idiosyncratic to a group of people. It differs from language in that other members of other groups can understand each other's 'dialect', but again someone who doesn't know the language cannot know the dialects of a language either.

    The boundary between language and dialect isn't always clear. 'Scots' for example, is debated whether it is a seperate language. Even those close to those who speak Scots (i.e English people) have difficulty understanding it. I believe some films that use Scots dialogue have subtitles when shown in England. It isn't just about understanding of course, but also etymology and how the language has developed. A lot of Scots comes not only from English, but also the Gaelic language and from Scandanavia as a result of the Vikings - the Scots word 'bairn' meaning child, for example, when the word in Norwegian/Icelandic/Swedish is 'barn'.

    Another example of an unclear boundary is between Norwegian and Swedish. As far as I'm aware, these languages are really dialects of each other, and the distinction to make them seperate languages is a political one rather than a linguistic one. Perhaps someone can clarify, but is there mutual understanding between a Norwegian person and a Swedish person. similar to what would be expected between a person from Wales and a person from New Zealand, for example?

    Some dialects are more like the language they stem from, others are closer to being a completely different language. Indeed, there is no doubt that new languages form from initially being a dialect of a language and developing seprately.
    it is also a matter of synchrony and diachrony :languages can also be regarded as dialects in diachrony: To some extent, French is a dialect of Latin..
    In synchrony it is a language with various dialects...

  2. #12
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Accent and Regional dialects

    Quote Originally Posted by Linguist__ View Post
    The boundary between language and dialect isn't always clear.
    There's no clear definition and in different parts of the world, there are very different views. In Europe, Czech and Slovak are regarded as languages, yet, apparently, they are closer to each other than some of the dialects spoken in China. The classification has much to do with borders, history and politics.

  3. #13
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    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Accent and Regional dialects

    There is also the matter of "prestige dialect" -- and of "register" (I may be using archaic linguistic terms.)
    Here in the USA it is not prestigious to pronounce "creek" as /krik/. As an English teacher and a graduate of Harvard I know that only too well, and yet I cannot bring myself to pronounce it the way people from a city would.
    In my dialect we have a second person plural pronoun -- "you'unz" -- which is almost toxic to the ear of many people and utterly unprestigious. But I like to point out that it solves a problem with English that has to be dealt with otherwise paraphrastically e.g. "all of you" or "you students".
    I shift my register a little when I am teaching. If I am sitting down and talking to a lawyer, I shift it a lot.
    I am not sure if I have already mentioned it in this forum, but I care enough about my dialect that I at times use my own spelling system for writing it. I call it "Artok Ruy'n", which transcribed into Standard English would be "Our Talk Writing" (or "speech")

  4. #14
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    Mehrgan is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Accent and Regional dialects

    Dear .... Taghavi,
    I think now you realise the differences...however, let me give you this examples of dielects and accents from our own country. You see Turks and Guilaks speak Turkish and Guilaki both of which, in our country are considered as dielects, as they have slightly different structures and different lexicons...Yet, the Turkish spoken in Tabriz is different to that spoken in Ardabil, not due to a difference in the lexicons or structures, but the way the people pronounce words, put stress on specific items, or speak more explosively,...etc. People having different accents won't have problem understanding each other...hope this helps...

  5. #15
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    Ever Student is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Accent and Regional dialects

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehrgan View Post
    Dear .... Taghavi,
    I think now you realise the differences...however, let me give you this examples of dielects and accents from our own country. You see Turks and Guilaks speak Turkish and Guilaki both of which, in our country are considered as dielects, as they have slightly different structures and different lexicons...Yet, the Turkish spoken in Tabriz is different to that spoken in Ardabil, not due to a difference in the lexicons or structures, but the way the people pronounce words, put stress on specific items, or speak more explosively,...etc. People having different accents won't have problem understanding each other...hope this helps...
    Hello Mehrgan,
    Thank you so much for your explanation.

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