List of dialects of the English language

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This is an overview list of dialects of the English language. Dialects are linguistic varieties which may differ in pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar. For the classification of varieties of English in terms of pronunciation only, see Regional accents of English.

Dialects can be defined as "sub-forms of languages which are, in general, mutually comprehensible".[1] English speakers from different countries and regions use a variety of different accents (systems of pronunciation), as well as various localized words and grammatical constructions; many different dialects can be identified based on these factors. Dialects can be classified at broader or narrower levels: within a broad national or regional dialect, various more localized sub-dialects can be identified, and so on. The combination of differences in pronunciation and use of local words may make some English dialects almost unintelligible to speakers from other regions.

The major native dialects of English are often divided by linguists into three general categories: the British Isles dialects, those of North America, and those of Australasia.[2] Dialects can be associated not only with place, but also with particular social groups. Within a given English-speaking country, there will often be a form of the language considered to be Standard English – the Standard Englishes of different countries differ, and each can itself be considered a dialect. Standard English is often associated with the more educated layers of society.

Europe[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

British English:

England[edit]

English language in England:

Scotland[edit]

  • Scottish English
  • Scots (note this is controversial, with some people considering it a dialect of English, others considering a different language, albeit descended from, and mutually intelligible with, English.)

Wales[edit]

Northern Ireland[edit]

Isle of Man[edit]

Channel Islands[edit]

Gibraltar[edit]

Republic of Ireland[edit]

Hiberno-English:

  • Cork
  • Dublin
  • Donegal
  • Kerry
  • Limerick city
  • Midlands
  • North East
  • Sligo town
  • Waterford city
  • West
  • Wexford town

Extinct[edit]

North America[edit]

North American English

United States[edit]

American English:

Canada[edit]

Canadian English:

Bermuda[edit]

Indigenous North America[edit]

Native American English dialects:

Central and South America[edit]

Belize[edit]

Falkland Islands[edit]

Guyana[edit]

Honduras[edit]

Caribbean[edit]

Antigua[edit]

Anguilla[edit]

The Bahamas[edit]

Barbados[edit]

Jamaica[edit]

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines[edit]

Trinidad and Tobago[edit]

Asia[edit]

Brunei[edit]

Burma[edit]

Hong Kong[edit]

Pakistan[edit]

India[edit]

Indian English:

Nepal[edit]

Malaysia[edit]

Philippines[edit]

Singapore[edit]

Sri Lanka[edit]

Africa[edit]

Cameroon[edit]

Kenya[edit]

Liberia[edit]

Malawi[edit]

Namibia[edit]

Nigeria[edit]

South Africa[edit]

  • South African English
    • Black South African English
      • Acrolect
      • Mesolect
    • Cape Flats English
    • Indian South African English
    • White South African English
      • Broad accent
      • General accent
      • Cultivated accent

South Atlantic[edit]

Uganda[edit]

Oceania[edit]

Australia[edit]

Australian English (AusE, AusEng):

New Zealand[edit]

New Zealand English (NZE, NZEng):

Constructed[edit]

Manual encodings[edit]

These encoding systems should not be confused with sign languages such as British Sign Language and American Sign Language, which, while they are informed by English, have their own grammar and vocabulary.

Code-switching[edit]

The following are portmanteaus devised to describe certain local varieties of English and other linguistic phenomena involving English. Although similarly named, they are actually quite different in nature, with some being genuine mixed languages, some being instances of heavy code-switching between English and another language, some being genuine local dialects of English used by first-language English speakers, and some being non-native pronunciations of English. A few portmanteaus (such as Greeklish and Fingilish) are transliteration methods rather than any kind of spoken variant of English.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wakelin, Martyn Francis (2008). Discovering English Dialects. Oxford: Shire Publications. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-7478-0176-4. 
  2. ^ Crystal, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, Cambridge University Press, 2003
  3. ^ JC Wells, Accents of English, Cambridge University Press, 1983, page 351
  4. ^ a b Hickey, Raymond (2005). Dublin English: Evolution and Change. John Benjamins Publishing. pp. 196–198. ISBN 90-272-4895-8. 
  5. ^ Hickey, Raymond (2002). A Source Book for Irish English (PDF). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing. pp. 28–29. ISBN 90-272-3753-0. ISBN 1-58811-209-8 (US) 
  6. ^ Daniel Schreier, Peter Trudgill. The Lesser-Known Varieties of English: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press, Mar 4, 2010 pg. 10

External links[edit]