Dialect means speaking. Synonyms of dialect are, local language, local parlance and variety of language.

What is the Dialect?

People ask questions that what is the dialect? The answer is that the dialect is a way of speaking. They synonym of dialect is local parlance or local language.

What is the Dialect?

‘Dialect’  (DIE-uh-lect) means the way of speaking. It is a language or manner of speaking particular to an individual or class or region. Usually, it belongs to a region/district. A dialect differs from the standard language of a country, in some cases varies considerably. The dialects of Greek, German and Sicilian for example, show great variations from the standard.

Synonyms of the Dialect:

Synonyms of dialect are: local language, local region, local parlance, local tongue and variety of language.

Development of the Dialect:

During the Middle English period, a variety of dialects were considered equally good as media for literary expression. After the 14th century, the dialect of London and the south Midlands gradually came to dominate the literature.

Dialect of English:

American English is used in the United States and it includes dialects that are used in the United States of America. British English is commonly used in the United Kingdom. There is a difference in pronunciation, grammar, spelling, idioms, and punctuation in both dialects.

Spell Difference: American English British English

Flavor Flavour
Honor Honour
Analyze Analyse
Color Colour

Title Difference: American English British English
Mr., Mrs. Mr, Mrs

Dialect Vs. Accent:

Two different aspects of language. However, there is a connection between the two of them.
The accent is a stress placed on a syllable, especially in a line of verse. It is a matter of vocal emphasis. It is to the extent of some specific region. In English, there is an American, British and Australian accent.

As per Merriam-Webster dictionary, “a regional variety of language distinguished by features of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation from other regional varieties and constituting together with them a single language.”

Language Vs. Dialect:

‘Language’ is generally speaking as well as writing. ‘Dialect’ is just spoken until it is promoted to the elite class commonly for political purposes.

American vs. British accent

Before the Revolutionary War, American and British accents were similar. Since 1776, accents have been changed but the English accent in the United States of America has diverged less drastically than the accent in Britain. However, most American accents remained rhotic. There are a few captivating exceptions, such as, New York and New England accents becoming non-rhotic, however, the Irish and Scottish accents remained rhotic.

Importance of Dialects in Literature:

A good deal of literature is in dialect, especially that created in the earlier stage of a country’s civilization. As far as England is concerned, all medieval verses of English language are in dialect. For example, Robert Mannyng’s Handling Synner. Furthermore, the Chaucer wrote in the East Midland dialect. He used words from one dialect to other dialects quite often; sometimes to suggest local characteristics and sometimes to secure a rhyme.

Examples in Literature:

The Colour of Forgetting by Merle Collins
If family and friends turn out well, is a bonus. Enjoy it. But don’t expect it.”
Here in the above lines, the Grenadian accent with a light touch of dialect has been used.

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Ya’ll nee’n try ter ‘scuse yo seffs. Ain Miss Pitty writ you an writ you ter come home?
Here the offensive use of dialect has been made. In the novel, all characters speak in a certain rough regional accent. Here the accent of black people has been discussed, which was not so good in their dialect, particularly in this novel.

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw’s  

Eliza, who was used to selling flowers in the streets, had a strong London Cockney dialect. Cockney was the dialect of the working classes of London at that time. Her dialect can be taken as a sociolect, as it reflects her poor social background.

And how are all your people down at Selsey?
Who told you my people come from Selsey

Although this play is difficult to recite because the Cockney dialect is only specific to that region. However, if the script is not written in the Cockney dialect, it would not be attractive at all.

‘Poor Bit of a Wench’ and ‘Gipsy by D.H. Lawrence’s

Multiple pieces of dialect can be observed in the above poems.

For the rest when thou art wedded
I’ll wet my brow for thee
With sweat, I’ll enter a house for thy sake,
Thou shalt shut doors on me.

Then, take a glance at these lines from ‘Poor Bit of a Wench’: 
Will no one say hush! to thee,
poor lass, poor bit of a wench?
Will never a man say: Come, my pigeon,
come an’ be still wi’ me, my own bit of a wench!

There is an obvious contrast in the dialect. The sound of one speaker looks educated and has control over his thoughts whereas the dialect of other sounds ordinary and non-effective.

Why Do Writers Use Dialects? 

The use of dialects is a common style that writers employ to convey additional information to the readers about some specific portion of the play or some character. It is effective in the sense that if the reader can see the character and thinks about the sound, there is every likelihood that he will become captivated by the person. Dialects provide life to the scene.

In the last decades, the use of dialects became vanished, however with time writers felt it necessary to use them in their writings, especially in dialogue writing. Now the dialect has become a cultural identity and languages with different dialects are being spoken in a wide range of the world.

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